“That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.” Philippians 3:10 KJV

 

That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death. Philippians 3:10 KJV

THAT I MAY KNOW HIM: WRESTLING THROUGH HEARTACHE AND ILLNESS

 

My life has seldom been easy. As a young child, I was diagnosed with a mild case of cerebral palsy, which left me with long-term physical effects. Later in life, my husband was unfaithful and left me to raise our four children alone. Oh, the heartbreak!

Just before I wrote this poem, I was diagnosed with two chronic illnesses. I worked full-time and was a single mom of four teenagers. I was scared. “Why is all this happening to me?” echoed in my heart and mind. This poem is the product of my wrestling.

THAT I MAY KNOW HIM

That I may know Him
Was my heartfelt plea.
Little did I know then
What was in store for me.

He gently took me by the hand
And led me down a path
I did not understand
To show His plan for me.

I watched in grief
As my husband left me
With the awesome responsibility
Of raising our children alone.

In my deepest sorrow, I cried,
“Why must this be, Lord?”
He put His tender arms around me
And said, “So you can know Me.”

Years have passed now.
There are still times of loneliness and despair
When I cry out, “Why, Lord, don’t you care?”
Still He softly whispers, “So you can know Me.”

At times now, my body aches in pain
And fatigue slows my steps.
Again, I ask, “Why me, Lord?”
Gently, He replies, “So you can know Me.”

“I suffered rejection from family and friends,
Loneliness, which no one could understand.
My body writhed in pain and agony
In order that you may know Me.”

Lord, forgive me for complaining
For now, I can see
The suffering I endure in this life
Can’t compare to Calvary.

Now I can see more clearly
The plan He had for me.
In tender love, He drew me close
To answer my prayer “to know Him.”

 

BRING YOUR SUFFERING TO GOD

 

  1. How do you view your suffering? Do you see it as a burden to endure? Do you see it as a punishment from an angry God? Whichever way you view it, take it to God in conversation. He invites us to “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” (James 4:8a KJV)

       2. Write a poem or a letter to God. Putting your thoughts on paper might give you new insight. It might even amaze you.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION

 

1. Does your suffering make you angry? Can you tell God about it? I complain and groan morning, noon, and night, and he hears my voice. Psalm 55:17 CSB

2. When your thoughts and emotions are jumbled or chaotic, try free writing whatever comes to mind. God is always ready to listen. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before him. God is our refuge. Psalm 62:8 CSB

3. Giving thanks and praise to God can lift our spirits. Can you sing or hum a hymn of praise or write a poem or letter of thanks to God? The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart celebrates, and I give thanks to him with my song. Psalm 28:7 CSB

Yellow Bubbles
Julie Smith

Julie Smith

Julie’s life began with many challenges. As a baby and toddler, she was faced with health complications which left her with permanent disabilities. Life was not always easy for her, but she was able to see God’s handiwork in everything she faced.

Julie began writing as a teenager, and now writes a blog ministering God’s love to others (butterfliesblossomsandblessings). Julie and her husband Curtis have a blended family of 7 children and 18 grandchildren. They live in Greenville, SC with their dachshund, George.

Accessible Poetry

Poetry is an invitation to explore your story in a new way, to write about moments or emotions without specifically naming them, to play with the musicality of words and phrases, to choose words, punctuation, and line breaks carefully. There is no right or wrong way to read or write poetry, just an invitation to begin.

Poetry Invites us to Notice and Explore

Poetry

MINISTRY OF VERSE

Poetry invites us to notice and explore our world. We might echo the symptoms, confusion, loss, grief, and uncertainty of chronic pain and illness. We could collect and delight in special moments and small victories.  Perhaps we will discover God’s still small voice in brand new ways.

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