The Roaring Lion

A few days ago I spoke with a woman that has struggled with depression since the death of her spouse seven years ago.  Sadly, the grief has taken such a hold that she is now mostly housebound.  She rarely goes to church because even though there are many other singles sitting all alone, she sees only the couples sitting side by side and that reminds her of her loss.  She finds it hard to remember the fact that she has value and a purpose to fulfill; that God has left her here for a reason…an assignment for her alone.  We talked for a while and then we prayed.  After that, I pondered for a long time how devastating loss and trials can be and how the devil loves to convince us that we are alone and that there is no hope since things didn’t turn out like we wanted.  The thing is my dear friend, that devastating belief… is a lie.

The Roaring Lion

The devil is a roaring lion seeking to devour                                                              
He plans to deal a mighty blow in our darkest hour
He fills our heads and hearts with lies that seem so logical
Our hands and feet he tightly binds, so all things seem impossible.

He takes the trouble in our lives and turns them into ashes
He tells us that our worth is gone and no one even likes us
He speaks so loud that we can’t hear the Spirit’s voice so soft
Reminding us to rise and grow and prosper from the loss.

He blinds our eyes to Gods great hand that’s reaching down to save us
He tells us there’s no use to pray and that we should be anxious
And as we listen to the lies our hearts change to a stone
The enemy laughs, and thinks he’s won; Our spirits cry and groan.

Oh Lord this day, come in Your might,  remove these chains I pray
Silence all the devil’s lies… and speak Your truth today
Tear the blinders from my eyes in Jesus mighty name
That I might see with Godly sight a purpose in the pain.

Soften up the hardened soil in my wounded heart
So I reflect a love and grace that only comes from God
Unchain my hands; give my feet wings – they were entombed in clay
And may I be Your hands and feet to share Your hope each day.

Help me to recognize the lies the devil brings in pain
Turn worry into passionate prayer and anxiety will flee
Help me to die unto myself, to know that our God’s sovereign
For as I bow before Your throne I’ll soar above my problems.

Rhonda Shelford Jansen

 

                           

Change

In recent months, several people close to me have lost loved ones and their pain  has caused me to reflect on what they are going through and the emptiness they are experiencing.  The finality of huge life changes and the required adjustment  is difficult to say the least.  But the fact is, life greets all of us with change ranging from earth shattering events like death, life threatening illness, or divorce, or even smaller events like becoming an empty nester or losing a job.  How we ultimately respond to these changes determines how we live the rest of our lives.  This poem is a combination of all those thoughts.  Blessings to you!

 

Change

The house, it echoed empty
The silence was so loud
The table had an empty place
The couch once held a crowd
The covers on the bed, unturned
No laughter down the hall
No dirty clothes upon the floor
No one to help with chores
Silence marched around the house
Consuming light and air
Joyful times that were the norm
Now silent evermore.

The change, it came too sudden
Time went so terribly fast.
Why can’t God turn back the clock
And make time last and last?
The longing for some space for “self”
The compromises asked
The noise and all the clutter
The chaos and the mess
The projects left unfinished
All seemed important then
Now seem like paltry nothings
With eternity compared.

Time rolls along with no regard
To whether hearts are ready
Change brings a fog that covers all
Where balance seems unsteady
What can be done in this new day
To reach beyond familiar ways
To find new paths, new ways to serve
To navigate life’s hair pin turns
O Lord please come and show the way
Fill up these walls with joy today
May Your presence linger here
Instead of empty, lonely, fear.

Its hard to live beyond the past
Loving sweet memories but finding new paths
Embracing change in this new season
Trusting in God’s holy reasons
Letting go of what was planned
For something different from God’s hand
Lord, birth a willing heart that’s soft
Sooth the grief and heart of loss
Moving forward in Your light
Open new doors, to soar on the heights
There’s purpose still… roll the darkness away
Let new sweet memories, be made today.

 

Rhonda Shelford Jansen