The House by the Side of the Road

Though perhaps not as avid a poetry lover as a couple of our dear sisters, 😉 I do hold an appreciation for well-composed lines that concisely communicate truth in an easy-to-remember format. The other day Daniel and I were discussing hospitality and the commands of Scripture to love one another, and the following poem came to mind. Perhaps a little quaint in it’s style and expression, 🙂 we were blessed by the spirit of love, compassion, and kindness it portrays, and wanted to share it with you. May each of us understand in a deeper way the love that our Savior bears toward us, so that we may in turn be vessels that convey that love to others!

“This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15: 12-13

“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” 1 John 4:10-11

 

The House by the Side of the Road
Sam Walter Foss

There are hermit souls that live withdrawn
In the peace of their self-content;
There are souls, like stars, that dwell apart,
In a fellowless firmament;
There are pioneer souls that blaze their paths
Where highways never ran;
But let me live by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

Let me live in a house by the side of the road,
Where the race of men go by
The men who are good and the men who are bad,
As good and as bad as I.
I would not sit in the scorner’s seat,
Or hurl the cynic’s ban;
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I see from my house by the side of the road,
By the side of the highways of life,
The men who press with the ardor of hope,
The men who are faint with the strife.
But I turn not away from their smiles nor their tears – 
Both parts of an infinite plan;
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead
And mountains of wearisome height;
And the road passes on through the long afternoon
And stretches away to the night.
But I still rejoice when the travelers rejoice
And weep with the strangers that moan,
Nor have I my house by the side of the road
Like a man who dwells alone.

Let me live in my house by the side of the road
Where the race of men go by – 
They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,
Wise, foolish – so am I.

Then why should I sit in the scorner’s seat
Or hurl the cynic’s ban?
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

Everyday Blessings | 8.31.17

Every single day we are surrounded with blessings, many of which we neglect to pause and notice. I am guilty of this myself, all too often… what grace the Lord shows us through His gentle reminders to give thanks, to count our blessings, and to rejoice. Here are just a few things I have seen and/or remembered today, enumerated in no particular order. 🙂 

  • cooler temperatures as summer comes to an end
  • freshly-mown grass
  • times to talk over everything with my dearest, and the oneness we share in Christ
  • stacks of clean diapers, ready for use
  • learning, in a deeper sense, to abide in Christ, and His patience with His children
  • red & bright pink flowers visible from our front porch and kitchen windows
  • smiles from our little man
  • time to read together
  • the ability to venture into the kitchen in the middle of the night, with the purpose of satisfying my ravenous Mommy-cravings, without meeting a cockroach or cricket or spider… usually 🙂

What are YOU grateful for? 

Manifold Witness

With the exciting solar eclipse passing across our nation on August 21st this year, many thoughts come to mind. Often, such glorious natural phenomena bring with them numerous theories… questions as to what might be the cause… creepy speculations about what major catastrophe is about to happen… wonderings about what might be our Creator’s deeper meaning behind them… and while I cannot say this is wrong, thoughts such as these have tended to generate deep notes of fear, anxiety, or doubt in my heart. 

Yes, it is true that we do not know what lies ahead. It is possible that there are serious trials on the horizon of our lives or for believers in general. The Lord could be using this coming eclipse to signal something monumental in the history of the world.

This past weekend, though, the Lord brought to mind a beautiful, reassuring promise to hang on to when the temptation arises to give in to the inner turmoil that seeks to crowd out my joyous rest in Him. While singing the familiar hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” on Sunday, He highlighted verse two:

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.

Summer, winter, spring, and harvest… the sun, the moon, the stars… they join in with all of nature as a manifold witness to the abundant faithfulness, mercy, and love of our God. HE IS unchanging. His faithfulness is sure. His mercy endures forever. His very nature is love. While we do not know what the future holds, we DO know Who holds the future, and we can trust Him.

What renewed peace it brought to my heart as He reminded me to use the eclipse (and other similar natural events) as a reminder of these steadfast elements of His character. All of nature sings of His glory; may we join them in praise to His goodness, rather than allowing fear of the unknown to cripple our joy!

“I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever… The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.” Psalm 145: 1, 8-9

“…the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3

“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jeremiah 31:3

“O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.” Psalm 117

Trust Him Wholly

Like a River Glorious 

Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace,
Over all victorious, in its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way.

Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand,
Never foe can follow, never traitor stand;
Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care,
Not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there.

Every joy or trial falleth from above,
Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love;
We may trust Him fully, all for us to do;
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.

 

The lyrics to this lovely hymn, especially the chorus and final stanza, have been ministering to our hearts over the past couple days in pondering the faithfulness of Jehovah, our loving Creator. Recently Daniel & I heard a challenging testimony from a friend’s life, in which, as a closing summary, he stated “God is faithful. Never once, in all of my life, has He failed me… NEVER ONCE.” And how true this is, as seen from our own lives and experiences as well. God IS faithful. Faithful to provide, to protect, to sustain. Faithful to love, to forgive, to guide. 

It is because of this faithfulness that we can trust Him.  “We may trust Him fully, all for us to do; They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.” Oh the rest, the joy, this brings! Even in the midst of swirling emotion, uncertain circumstances, or seasons of doubt and pain, we can trust Him. Even when we cannot see how He is working, or we do not know what tests and trials lie ahead, He abides faithful. 

May we all then trust unreservedly in the faithfulness of Jehovah, with peaceful, resting confidence that He will not fail. 

Cherish the Moment

Today I am reminded to cherish each moment the LORD has given. When I look at the smiling, chubby face of my little man, and realize how quickly time is passing and how rapidly he is changing… When I look into the sparkling eyes of my beloved, and remember again the unspeakable gift it is to belong to him, to sit and hold his hand, to walk by his side… When I glance outside and see the brilliant light of the summer sun, and think how short the weeks are until autumn will begin to show itself… So many reminders to take TODAY, and rejoice in it. To delight in the calling the LORD has placed upon my life. Today is a treasure. Each moment is a treasure, not to be taken for granted.

“This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118: 24

Reasons to Smile

Every day, all around us, there are reasons to smile. Whether it be the soft glow of Christmas lights, a tidy house, the grin of someone you love, a burning candle, a refreshing breeze, or even a pudgy little snowman, each one is a special gift from the Lord, a reminder to thank and praise Him for His goodness, mercy, compassion, and love.

“Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits…” Psalm 103:1-2