“Daily Light Upon the Pathway”
The poem below, by Robert Macoll Adams, is pasted inside the front flap of my Bible. How eloquently it speaks for my dumb soul.
Eternal Lord, How Faint and Small
Eternal Lord, how faint and small
Our greatest, strongest thoughts must seem
To Thee, who overseest all,
And leads us through Life's shallow stream.
How tangled are our straightest ways;
How dimly flares our brightest star;
How earthbound is our highest praise
To Thee, who sees us as we are.
Our feet are slow where Thine are fast;
Thy kiss of grace meets lips of stone;
And we admit Thy love at last
To hearts that have none of their own.
-- Robert MacColl Adams (1913-1985)
Ps 139:1-4; Matt 22:36-37; Eph 2:1-2; Rom 5:5; 1 John 4:19
Thanks to Robert McAnally Adams for keeping this poem
and RMA's meditations alive on Christian Quote of the Day at www.cqod.com.
(See bottom of the pages in this website for link to a new meditation each day.)
Storm on the Sea
Alone on the shore as the night shade enclosed
Asking nothing of evening, nothing my mind supposed,
Just to be in His Presence, to feel the awe of His might,
A storm loomed in the distance and threatened the night.
The purple gathering movement drew close
Thrilling my soul as it covered the coast.
How speechless the storm clouds manifest His work,
Silently looming and blanketing the earth.
Great in their dark mass they pushed through the sky,
Monstrous in power, they rule from on high.
I could see the sky 'round them, but through I could not,
For their mass eclipsed twilight in one darkening blot.
I thought of how easily I feel hope is lost
When the storms of life threaten and like billows I'm tossed;
But the sky never left me though I lost sight of the blue.
So hope is not absent, though it's hidden from view.
The clouds threatened rain as they gained in their girth
Still, it's rain that replenishes and freshens the earth.
In all sorrow is gladness, in need met there is joy;
Should I question the methods my Sovereign employs?
With terror and might, massive waves lashed the shore
But the boundaries He set restrained their explore.
I stood in it's pathway, as though before God;
I was fearful, yet wanting His approving nod,
So I reached up my arms in surrendering stance
As the rush of the breeze all around me made dance.
"Lord, You are Power! I am small--You are great!
Empty, then fill me, let your love overtake!"
Lifting my soul soaring High on His grace
I was wonderfully transported into His embrace.
Though I knew the terror of sin's looming threat,
I could feel the release, through His grace, from that debt.
Then it was, when He'd filled me, I was gently let down
Here to work a while longer before gaining the crown.
How earthbound and brief such a joy must remain
Til we meet with Him on a more lasting terrain.
Still, He met me; and how could I ask Him for more?
Condemned not, but cherished—alone on the shore.
Translucent green tumbling, frothing their hoar—
Lacy fingers reach upward on smooth, glassy shore
Greedy for space as they swell in their pride
Crashing and dashing then running to hide
Back where they came from in swirling retreat
BAck to their cycles in humble defeat
Continuous cycles roll under the foam
Rolling, never leaving their green, fluid home
I, alone on the ocean's wide-banded shore
Sensed the curls and the splashes revealed something more
The sea knows its boundaries, it's grasp knows its line
Does my soul know its limits? Can it be defined
By consistent cycles: proud rise, sore defeat?
Can there be hidden strength in this pattern complete?
Deep calls unto deep, the soul hears the call
Of the patterns of living, the rise and the fall
God sets the boundaries for all the wide sea
I'm safe in the boundaries He set, too, for me
And as the sun sets, bringing purpling clouds low,
The sea ever onward rolls and plays to and fro
There, not resigned, but to rise yet once more
Reach those greedy, laced fingers on the glassy seashore
-- 2004, ReadPsalm119.com
The Moon on the Ocean
The moon peeked through clouds, glowing bright in its place
Like the brilliance of favor—the return of God's grace.
Not a first light, it shines as God's light shines in me
(Even lesser lights shine when His face others see)
Unnoticed at day when the sun rises bright—
Yet at evening, shines hope and makes lovely the night.
There are many who falter in the dark night of soul
But His Light, when reflected, gives the Way to console.
The night has its reasons, casting shadows on sight
Causing eyes to look up to the moon with its light,
Teaching hearts to remain steadfast and strong in their course
Looking only to Him, love and hope's only Source.
— 2001, ReadPsalm119.com; on Cocoa Beach, FL
Ah, 'tis but retrospection
Of the sorest kind,
To look and wish all was different
That my self-heart wasn't blind
Yet He waits for me with love
And His arms invite me in,
Wraps me 'round just like my daddy's,
Calming all that lies within.
Tomorrow cannot touch me
And the past is buried deep.
Nothing breaks the beauty
'Twixt the Shepherd and His sheep.
— Dec 4, 2000, ReadPsalm119.com. Selected from "Press On!"
Growing old is having to watch
While young ones make their mistakes
And you know better
But they won't listen
Can't year the future
You watch and grieve
But you know they, too,
Will grow old and learn.
Growing old is finding
Limitations and boundaries,
Places you cannot go
Because life is short
And wisdom curtails energy
It is finding that this is
Not so bad as you once thought
When you were young.
Growing old is seeing change
Without so much thrill of the future,
Nor yet so much dread of the past.
Change is change—
Inevitable as rain
And as predictable as the sun.
Change is the wave
Upon which we ride
If we want to stay young
As we grow old.
Growing old is not in grays,
But in silvers finely forged;
It is wrinkles crinkling laughter;
It is wisdom more lived than said.
Growing old is still growing
As the soul its Freedom tastes
Coming on the wind that hastens
Springing step and warm Embrace.
Growing old is joy—
Crown of life.
— Feb 3, 2004, ReadPsalm119.com
The Path of the Lord
O, Love that stays close by my side
When all unlove is my betide,
When all is dark inside my soul,
You, Light, have been my surest Guide.
O, Joy, that knoweth every fold
Of valley low and mountains rolled,
There is no hidden vale from Thee,
O, Rain, who filleth up the mold.
How even would the meadow be;
How plain and unrelieved to see
Were there no hills to block my view
Nor hollows or the stubborn tree.
But You, in love, break up the plain,
Hide hurtful things as well as gain.
You lift my eye from 'cross the stretch
To see You high above my pain.
And thankful now I rest my eye
On line and shape and ask not why.
There's beauty in the hidden things
And well I'll know them, bye and bye.
— January 14, 2004, ReadPsalm119.com
This is a prayer of thanks to Jesus, Our Savior, the only Son of the Living God.
It has its root in Ecclesiastes and the Psalms.
Joy, joy, I'll sing it over and over again
In the troubled storms and then
When the happy times come in
There is joy, joy, joy,
There is joy, joy, joy,
There is joy!
Joy, joy, my heart cannot run dry
Though the troubled times may try
His peace fills me when I cry
Out for joy, joy, joy,
There is joy, joy, joy,
There is joy!
It is no secret
He told us from the start
There is an answer for your pain
Remember what He's done for you—
In love He took your part
And now what once was loss
Is now your gain! Let it rain!!
Joy, joy, I can sing or I can shout
Brings my heart and soul about
Turns despair into a rout
There is joy, joy, joy,
There is joy, joy, joy,
There is joy!
Joy, joy, not imagined—it is real!
Lift your heads and truly feel
Lift your hands in love's appeal
For the joy, joy, joy,
There is joy, joy, joy
He's our joy!
-- n.d., ReadPsalm119.com (2019)
1. Fragile dreams and hopes that pass
Burst and fall as shattered glass
Dreams that would not, could not last
Visions that could not have been
Flit and flicker, flame and then
Fade away so I'm again
(But) You have so much more for me
Than my weakened mind conceives
So I set my own ideas upon the altar
Then Your love consumes them all
As on grateful knees I fall
And with joyful cry I call,
2. For the truth I cannot see
Daily I'm constrained to be
Waiting on Your will for me
And in acceptance there is peace
There's a greater love for these
Who are desperate to be free
Empty and broken, Lord, I stand
Before you with nothing to demand
I give it all—You gave to me
Your life and love at Calvary
—August 2003, ReadPsalm119.com
Commentary: Jesus completely dis-illusioned his disciples.
Everything they gave up in life; everything they built their life around
came crumbling violently down around them at the Cross. Mark 4 tells
us that they did not understand everything (little of anything) that Jesus
taught them or did in front of them. But the fact remains that Jesus
*chose* them knowing this. He understood them. He loved them and
continued to teach them anyway. He knew the plans down the road
for them. He dis-illusioned these God-directed men in order to give
them ultimately more than they were capable of knowing before.
Disillusionment is a gift from God. ILlusions are lies that fail us. But
He cares enough to open our eyes to the lies that bind, kill and destroy.
His Truth will have its way and that for our benefit. More and greater
things are just beyond. He takes us from Calvary on to the joy at
Emmaus and our hearts burn within us, wondering that we didn't see
No longer deceived, we see ourselves for what we truly are. It is
no longer about us, it is about Him. Painful though the process may be,
truly what we lose can be counted as gain. Throwing off the faulty ideas
that lift us up to heights we cannot maintain, we are debased to ground
we cannot lose. It is firm ground and we are not alone on it.
When our eyes are opened, God shows us the needs and brokeness
of others. Rather than face the ridicule and scorn of those who enjoy
our fall, we gaze upon the upturned faces of others that have known
sacrifice of their own ideals in exchange for the Truth that cannot fail.
They are kind faces and we are comforted; and we comfort. We find
life beyond our own sacrifice, joy beyond our dreams and expectations,
fellowship beyond the isolation of our own devising.
Disillusionment is a gift from God. When you enter into it, rejoice
exceedingly for you have entered into Truth, the illumination of the very
mind and heart of God. -- August 2003.
Upon the Waters
peaceful the rocking
gentle the cradling of the waters
mournful the rising
deep fall the valleys of the waters
frightful the thrashing
lifted high the crashing of the waters
Can't you feel the crushing?
Can't you see the death upon these waters?
sorrowful the Sleeper
"Do you not know I rule the mighty waters?"
silent the crying
stills the violence of the waters
Surely, You have known the crushing
Surely, You have known the death upon these waters!
Shining the Son's hope upon the waters
Peaceful the resting
Sail on with You upon these waters
— December 20, 2003, ReadPsalm119.com
Commentary: But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for
I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you
pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you...For Iam the Lord,
your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; ...Since you are precious
and honored in my sight, and because I love you, ... Do not be afraid,
for I am with you..." -- Isaiah 43:1-5
"What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey Him!"
Where Do I Go From Here?
Tell me where do I go from here?
Jesus, where do I place my next step?
If I must carry through,
Tell me what should I do from here?
I. It's getting harder to have faith in today
Though I know you're always with me.
Although I'm tired, there's a reason to stay
Though that reason is far beyond me!
If it's in service, Jesus, teach me to serve;
Give me Your strength to move past failing
If it's in loving, Jesus, teach me to love
Give me Your love that knows no paling.
II. All my tomorrows are invested in You,
Your promises are all I cling to
Yet there's a heavy feeling over today
And the days are long until I get to see You!
"My child, remember how I've led you before;
My grace is all sufficient for you
Just stay your ind on Me and trust in My peace
Though the road is long, I AM is always with you.
"I will lead all the way from here,
I will guide where you place your next step.
I will carry you through,
There not a thing you can do—
All the load's upon Me,
I'm where your faith should be
—December 20, 2003
"Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your
truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you
all day long." -- Psalm 25:4-5 (see whole Psalm)
"Walk about Zion, go around her, count her towers, consider well her
ramparts, view her citadels, that you may tell of them to the next
generation. For this God is our God forever and ever; he will be our
guide even to the end." -- Psalm 48:12-14
"Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths,
you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far
side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will
hold me fast." -- Psalm 139:7-10. (See song "He Will Hold Me Fast" by
Keith and Kristyn Getty, YouTube; 4:30 min; lyrics included].
"Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The
Prince of Peace..." "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind
is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee." Isaiah 9:6 and 26:3.
See also Psalm 23 "The Shepherd's Psalm".
Take Hold, My Frantic Heart!
God is awesome—
He created the world,
he has accomplished the mighty Act—
The Work is done.
Can He not do this small thing?
Can He not still my heart
And stop the angry tide?
Can He not plant the seed of
His love far and wide?
Will He leave me fatherless
In my small hour of need?
O, will He leave me in my sin
To break apart and bleed?
The worry of the current hour
Is replied in fervor, "No!
My God's too great,
Though I'm so small,
So onward, forward will I go.
"Be still! Take hold,
My frantic heart!
Be still, and give it o'er;
My God, He faithful, will remain
For now and evermore."
—June 5, 1998, ReadPsalm119.com
Holy Spirit, Sing for Me!
My heart has no words to make my prayer sound
My blood has turned to water
And my strength cannot be found
Receive me, Lord, on me your ear employ
Turn water into Your wine of Joy.
Holy Spirit, sing for me,
Jesus, My Redeemer, see
That I am just a weary soul
In need of You today!
Holy Spirit, sing when I cannot pray
Holy Spirit, sing when I cannot pray!
Holy Lord, I lift this prayer to You,
What you desire of me, that will I do.
Praises to You fill all I can say
Holy Spirit, sing when I cannot pray
And on that Day I meet You face to face,
Speechless I'll remain in Your embrace,
For even though my heart had felt as stone,
I will see my tears have been all Your own.
"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities, for we know not
what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh
intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And
he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit,
because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will
of God." -- Romans 8:26, 27
A New Song
I will praise Your Name
In a new song, O Holy One of Israel,
For You have been the God of my life.
From earliest remembrance
You whispered Your care
You pressed your presence gently to my soul
My child-heart trusted in You
You led me through the barren
Confusion and searching
You poured Yourself forth as
Living Water from the rock of my soul
Cleaving the stone with gentle, flowing Life
Your Truth was my light
Your Word my comfort
You grew my soul into an oak of strength
Even when my patience grew thin
And I tested You
You proved Your grace
I was humbled in joy
You make submission sweet
And now that I face the uncertainties ahead
You sit down beside me, Father,
With your arms of understanding
Saying naught but love and pity
You are Sovereign and I am still child
Your Name above all others be praised!
Let the Name of my Lord JEsus be exalted before all men
May all bow down and acknowledge You alone as Lord
May I be at Your right hand then, Lord,
And feel the squeeze of Your Hand in mine
As daddy to his girl when sharing
A happy secret now revealed
— September 22, 2001 (thoughts after "9-1-1"), ReadPsalm119.com
Be dressed and ready in your gowns of gold
And gauzes of sheer white!
Does your skin smell sweet of fragrance?
Jewels adorning shine so bright?
Are your maid-friends whispering excitedly
Knowing that the Bridegroom nears?
They've been waiting, sharing expectantly
While you've talked of Him these years!
You were young then, when He found you,
Just a maiden girl of naught
You were not then ready for the Man
Yet with steep price you were bought.
Paid the whole price, though it cost Him
All He had for you, His wife;
For He loved His dearest bride-maid
And He loved you with His life.
Purchase paid, you belong to Him now
But He must go prepare a place
You were still too young to wed Him,
Must not look upon His face
In the house of your old master,
Working fields with doubt within
You have toiled hard 'midst the dreaming
Pleasant dreams you have of Him
Remember when you saw His radiance?
He was lovely in His grace!
And, though distant, you remember
Every feature of His face.
There were private conversations
In the gardens there with you,
And you felt your heart warm strangely
To this Man you hardly knew.
But He made Himself your friend
And has corresponded still
He has never really left you
Though you've tried Him with your will
You are His and He is Yours, now
Nothing can erase the deed
Now it's waiting ever patiently
As love's tree grows from this seed
You have grown more lovely waiting
Years have changed your maiden-form
Now a saint that's filled with longing
And a heart that's soft and warm
Check your lamp! Is it burning
With a fire hot and pure?
Do you have the oil of your faith?
Have you checked it? Are you sure?
Do you remember He sent notice
He was coming back for you?
The time is nearing, dearest maiden,
Is your tender heart still true?
Or have you tired of waiting,
Think he's never going to show?
Tired of wearing your white linen,
Have you lost your blushing glow?
Don't give up! You know He's coming,
He has written to tell you so
Believe Hi and be ready
When He calls, so you can go!
Hark! I hear the hoofbeats coming!
See Him, how His garments gleam!
He is riding forth to greet you—
There! Your eyes revive their beam!
Now your maiden-heart is quickened
As the tiredness leaves your limbs
Gone the soreness of your toiling
Gone the weight of selfish whims!
Hear the hoofbeats of His steed now
As it gallops ever nearer!
Never was a romance sweeter,
Nor a Savior ever dearer!
Place the veil across your lovely face
To hide your blushing cheek
As He knocks upon the door now
Feel your knees are getting weak
That old master must admit Him
For the dow'ry has been paid
Though he loathes to leave you to Him,
The Bridegroom's purchased maid
Christ extends His hand to greet you,
Never was the sun so bright
As you step across the threshold
Out of shade into His Light!
—December 11, 2001, ReadPsalm119.com
Commentary: This poem has a bit of history. It is an
analogy brought forward from Old Testament-era wedding
customs, not modern ones. The marriage was considered legally
binding (initially) when the parents sealed the deal, but before
the actual wedding. The groom would go to "prepare a place"
for his bride and would come when all was ready and the
wedding and consummation of the marriage would be fulfilled.
Without getting into detail (I'm no scholar, nor am I Hebrew), this
is just a note to remind us that we're speaking of spiritual truths
using the same analogy God has used when speaking of His beloved
believers as Christ's bride. The "old master" is satan who is the
prince of this world and whose doom is already sure.
Let us worship together in this:
Revelation 21:2, 9-11; 19:7-8; 22:17;
Isaiah 54:5, a particularly important verse for me and for you!.