beauty will rise

I wrote this in April for some dear friends as they were being brought through what the Puritans called “The Valley of Vision”; seeing them as they clung fast to the Lord was like having one’s own high views of how we were doing spiritually beaten down. It’s one of my favourites, but not in the least for its poetic value.

My God, O help my unbelief,

In this where my fearful lot is cast,

That Thou hast formed a glorious plan,

To reveal Thy love from eternity passed

That Thy love deemed it expedient

To place Thyself upon the Cross

And was it not love that brought me here,

That I like Thee may suffer loss?

~

My love regarded not His pain,

For joy that was held before His face,

Oh help me see, my pain Thy mercy

And in my every tear Thy grace

Before Thy love’s consuming wound

I shrank away at slightest sting

But now in holy resignation

With joy I give Thee everything

~

Blood and sweat did greatly mingle

That I only tears of Joy might know

Thou givest me to share in sufferings

That I might more Thy likeness show

The pain remains, but death is broken

Love hath made that Reaper sweet

For now he beareth no more his victims,

But happy captives to Thy feet.

~

In these our foulest tribulations,

Thy faithfulness in beauty shines

In every cup of bitter waters,

I taste love’s sweet blood-bought wine

If my spark might be fire for Thee

I scarce regard there any pain

If an inch be added to my love’s stature,

My greatest loss is highest gain.

~

All ye heaven’s, praise the Beloved

Widely doth His sweet mercy flow

In His goodness He doth sculpt me

There’s sweetness in every hammer’s blow

Oh ye angels, praise the Father

Or in wonder stand amazed

Worship Him in every manner,

On His goodness fondly gaze.

~

Jesus teach me more to love Thee

Thou hadst tried me, try me still,

release I now my foolish hand-holds

For my portion be Thy will.

Blessed shall be my mourning spirit

For Thou art my promised comforter

Blessed be my wealthless soul now

For I have Thy riches when I am poor.

~

While my Christ with such love guards me

All within my soul is well

Let every earth’s embrace be empty,

Safely in Thy arms I dwell

Oh Thou angels hearken to me

You who know His loving face

Though on earth my face be tearful

Praise my God with all Thy praise.

~

Let all the devils rightly taunt me

When in prosperity I fall

But watch as Hades is dumbfounded

When pain doth make me more Love’s thrall

Oh my soul regard the heavens

Gaze upon His stars again

Yet not one of these can measure

To His  glory in thy pain

~

Praise, oh my soul, thy King, thy Lover

Thy Elder Brother and thy Friend

Praise aloud, Whose name is Faithful

For He is faithful to the end

Then Ah, that end, tis fast approaching

When we must trade our faith for sight

Then shall we see the joyful dawning

Which ends forever weeping night.

Out of these ashes, beauty will rise,

Sorrow will be turned to joy,

All we’ve been hoping and longing for,

Soon will appear….

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