The part of the poem that we will be emphasising on today is highlighted in blue. The black colour text in the poem is a recap of what we have already done last week.
Let us now continue our journey with the third episode of this poem…
The Rough and Broken Road (Episode 3)
By Joanne Liaw Sook Ling (10th September 2014)
The rough road that lies before me is uncertain
The future stays hidden; it’s veiled by a curtain
If only I could clearly see what lies ahead
But all my eyes perceive is a thick fog instead
I glanced behind at the broken road I’ve travelled
Painful wounds from the journey have left me shattered
‘Oh Lord, please give me endurance to carry on
Soothe my aching feet for the journey has been long’
‘Help me now to put the broken road behind me
Beyond the disappointments, lift my eyes to see
Your purpose in putting me through the trials and pain
For Your refining fire has brought me much gain’
‘Although I cannot see what lies ahead of me
I trust in Your love, providence and sovereignty
Jesus, may Your rod and staff lead me safely through
The darkest valleys when I know not what to do’
As I trudged along the rough and perilous road
My legs gave way; I fell under the heavy load
My eyes brimmed with tears of anguish and agony
I was too weary to continue this journey
‘Hey, are you alright?’ I heard a voice behind me
So I turned around and saw Geoffrey and Jinny
My friends were looking at me with concern and care
They said, ‘Tell us what’s wrong; let us your burden share’
So I unslung the bag from my aching shoulders
I said, ‘My burden has been getting heavier
With each passing day till I can take it no more
My poor hands and feet are bleeding, wounded and sore’
Jinny reached into her pouch and drew out a vial
‘This balm called, ‘prayer’, your wounds it will soothe and lull
Let us apply this salve on your feet and hands
Rest in the Lord till you are strong enough to stand’
‘Prayer’ was applied to my wounds every day and night
Till I was strong enough to continue the fight
Geoffrey lifted up my weighty bag from the ground
‘This is heavy, how did you carry this around?’
He chuckled and said, ‘There seem to be many stones
That weighed you down as you travelled this road alone
Come, let us head off to a place where you can lay
Your burdensome stones. Come now, follow me this way’
We came to a serene bay with quiet waters
The beauty of the landscape was like no other
My eyes caught sight of a great, massive rock on land
Geoffrey motioned me, to come over, with his hands
‘What’s this rock?’ I asked as I sought to understand
‘This is the Rock of Jesus on which His Church stands
It is the solid Rock which our faith is built on
This great Rock stands firm even when all hope is gone’
I saw many stones of various shapes and sizes
Inserted and tucked within the Rock’s recesses
I saw words on them upon closer inspection
Words like, ‘fear’, ‘grief’, ‘disappointment’ and ‘rejection’
Geoffrey handed my weighty bag of stones to me
‘Look at your stones while I take a walk by the sea
I will give you time to talk to God on your own
Cry and unburden to Him the words on each stone
You would know what to do with the stones thereafter’
He whistled gaily as he left me to ponder
I peered into the sack and ‘grief’ was my first word
‘Disappointments’ was my second, ‘fear’ was my third
‘Trauma’, ‘rejection’, ‘hatred’ and ‘unforgiveness’
‘Failures’, ‘hopelessness’, ‘anger’ and ‘bitterness’
Were the other stones I emptied out of my sack
Tears streamed freely down my face as I looked back
At the broken trails of the years left behind me
And the future ahead with its uncertainties
My eyes turned from the stones to the Rock before me
Which was much greater than my stones of agony
‘Dear Jesus,’ I whispered, under my breath, a prayer
‘Help me to lay down these heavy stones over here
Enable me to let go of my painful past
And the fears of my future which I have amassed
In my predicaments, shift my gaze to the Tree
On which you suffered to redeem sinners like me
My sorrows cannot compare to the agony
And pain you endured on the Cross of Calvary’
TO BE CONTINUED…
Points for Reflection:
For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
(Psalm 62:1-2 ESV)
· Grief, disappointments, failures, rejection, trauma, hatred, unforgiveness, anger, bitterness, fear and hopelessness – Those are the common stones that many of us pick up and shoulder along life’s journey.
· Are you going through a period of grief? Who are you grieving for? Does the sting of death feel too paralyzing for you at this present moment?
· Have you been disappointed by unmet expectations? Do you find the failures and rejection in life too hard to swallow? How have disappointments affected the way you relate to others?
· Do the memories of traumatic events still haunt you with sleepless nights?
· Have you been harbouring unforgiveness, anger and bitterness against those who have disappointed or hurt you?
· Have the events of the past given you cause to fear the uncertainties of the future? Has the weight of life led you to hopelessness?
· Take a moment to ponder over those stones you are holding in your hands.
· Then ask yourself, ‘Why am I finding it so hard to let them go?’
· Shift your gaze from those stones to the Rock of Jesus Christ.
· No matter how heavy those stones might feel, they can never outweigh the great love and compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ.
· He is not a distant God who does not sympathise with us but He understands how we feel.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
(Hebrews 4:15-16 ESV)
· No human suffering can be greater than the pain that Christ endured on the cross to die in our place so that we who believe in Him can be saved from the eternal flames of hell.
· If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, when you look at the cross, remember that your greatest burden of sin has been borne by Jesus. The penalty of your sins have been cancelled and eternal life is your guaranteed deposit at the end of the road. Isn’t that a wonderful truth to be thankful for? Do your little stones feel lighter now?
· If you have not put your trust in Jesus, I pray that God will open your heart to receive Him. For the solemn truth is that those who reject Christ have to bear the penalty of their own sin and eternal damnation awaits them at the end of the road. Please put your trust in Jesus before it is too late and find comfort in His love and grace.