Saturday, 1 November 2014

The Rough and Broken Road (Episode 4)

Hello All,

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 fourth and final episode of this poem…

The Rough and Broken Road (Episode 4)
By Joanne Liaw Sook Ling (17th 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
‘Disappointment' 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'

I placed each stone in the recesses of the Rock
Before the Lord, my deep struggles have been unlocked
I've surrendered to God my stones of agony
In my brokenness His love has comforted me

As I stood up, I caught sight of two familiar
Figures coming my way and as they drew nearer
To me; I thought to myself, ‘Now, who could they be?'
To my great delight, they were Tony and Mandy

‘We know you have been going through a rough time
So we are here to help you with this uphill climb'
Mandy handed to me a loaf of tasty bread
'This bread will strengthen you for the journey ahead'

Bible verses were visible on every slice
Tony said, 'Do try some for they taste really nice'
So I took a bite and it tasted like honey
'God's Word will give you strength for your daily journey'

I thanked them greatly for their unreserved kindness
In helping me find comfort in God's promises
Strengthened in God's Word, I continued my journey
Entrusting my path to God's loving sovereignty


Points for Reflection:
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
(Psalm 119:103 ESV)
·         God has not left us to fend for ourselves as we traverse the winding paths of life but He has given us His Word – the Bible.
·         The Bible is not just a historical account of the past with moral lessons to draw from but it is so much more than that.
·         When you read the Bible, you are not reading the mere words of men. God speaks to us through His Word.
·         God’s Word tells us about man’s rebellion and God’s faithfulness; man’s sinfulness and God’s holiness; man’s transgressions and God’s wrath; man’s hopelessness and God’s redemption.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son [Jesus Christ], that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.        
(John 3:16-18 ESV)
·         Have you admitted your rejection of God’s Word? Are you trusting in the redemption that God has provided through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ?
·         When the going gets rough, let us not cast our Bible aside but pick it up and feed ourselves with God’s Word. Let us not be more concerned about physical food, of temporal sustenance, but let us find comfort and nourish our spirit with the sweet Word of God.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33 ESV)

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
(Romans 8:28 ESV)

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8:37-39 ESV)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
(Romans 15:13 ESV)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:6-7 ESV)

·         Have you been reading God’s Word lately? Or have you been casting it aside?