No Trial Wasted

Once upon a time..

There was a traveler,
There was a mountain,
And there was a cross.

Jesus knew the mountain.
The traveler followed Jesus.
Jesus led him up the mountain,
And furthermore, to the cross.

Yet still I will say..

“I declare to the highest heaven and the lowest hell,
I trust my God and will follow Him to the last!
I will bless His name no matter the loss,
For no mountain climbed is to waste!

Furthermore, no cross is to waste either.
Every trial of the faith can only strengthen.
Christianity is built upon crosses and resurrections,
And every mountain I climb, the only end is more of Jesus.”

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It’s Okay to Cry

Once upon a time..

There was a joyous night:
A night filled with many tears,
Largely from one young man.

This night marked a season’s end,
Yet also marked a season’s beginning.
It was the culmination of nine weeks:
A look back and a look forward alike.

This young man had promised himself, “No tears.”
He had promised all of his close friends, “No tears.”
He had laughed his way through highschool graduation,
So really, why would he ever cry over this graduation?

But as a backstory, he had always been ashamed of his tears.
He had grown up with a disposition to cry over good reasons,
Yet those good reasons had a way of striking fear into him:
Fear that his tears were an offense and travesty to behold.

None the less, on this final, concluding night, names were given,
And all his close friends were likened unto brave heroes of the past.
So after spending nine weeks with such men, being given so accurate names,
“What name could possibly be given to someone like.. uh, me? Seriously!”

Yet strangely, being likened unto a weeping prophet somehow clicked;
As if his prayer closet got a tip of the hat and a secret hand shake.
Meanwhile, all of heaven smiled as he burst into excessive tears.
Because his Father, after all those years, gently whispered,

“My son, it’s okay to cry..”

Encouragement From Iron to Iron

Once upon a time..

In the midst of a small school,
There were two young men:
A senior and an eighth grader.

Each were on two completely different paths of life,
But when a work of God brought the two together,
It could truly be said that iron and iron
Came together to sharpen iron.

However, I don’t believe that the young eighth grader
Will ever understand the impact that he had on the senior.
For more than being encouraged, he was an encouragement,
And he was willing to let God work in his life immensely.

The years ahead are brighter than the eighth grader could ever imagine,
For it is a rare thing that God would work so much in someone so young.
And although the highschool has yet to realize this new ninth grader,
He will cause more spiritual havoc for God’s kingdom than many before him.

So, —–, whether you ever read this or not, know that
It has been an honor and a privilege to grow with you.
You have drawn me closer to God, taught me many things,
And given me a legacy that I would not have left otherwise.

As far as the prayer meeting, God will see to its survival,
For He has begun a work in our school, and He will finish it.
But above all else, whether He uses many or few,
One thing is undoubtedly certain:

He will use you.

And that, my friend, is an encouragement.

The Fourth Baptist Prayer Journal

The Bold Petition

Once upon a time..

There was a young man
With weak knees and timid eyes
In the midst of the strong and brave.

As their general entered the room,
His eyes instantly found the young man.
Smiling, he approached with a firm handshake.
“Hi! I’m —-, and you are?.. Glad to see you! We’ll talk at break!”

Later, as the general finished first orders,
He straightway pointed to the distant young man,
And with a steady finger, motioned him closer.
(You. Yes, you! Come here! Let’s talk!)

With anticipation and a grand smile, he asked,
“Tell me, what has God been doing in your life?”
The young man pulled out a small, worn knife.
The general took it and held it in awe.

“Praise the Lord for this knife!
God has done so much to give you this!
Please, let me take you to my King.
I would like to put in a word for you.”

Suddenly, the general kicked open
The doors to the throne room of heaven,
And with strong and confident arms, he carried
The weak young man before the throne.

“Lord, see to it that this young man
Be prepared fully, to the utmost!
Train him to brave the front lines
And venture into the darkest of places!”

The general, with all fervor and boldness,
Quickly sifted through the King’s arsenal.
“Train him to sustain this and perform this!
Prepare him to run like this and climb like this!”

“This Sword! Strengthen his grip to swing this!
This shield! Grow his faith to block like this!
This armor of Christ! Build him up to wear this!
Provide every ounce of training necessary!”

The general spoke with a heavenly confidence.
He spoke with a faith that shouted something of,
“Ahah! I have found yet another up-and-coming warrior-poet!
One day, he will certainly be added to God’s Holy Gibborim!”

It was as though a lion had entered into the young man’s chest,
As though he had stepped out of Captain America’s steroid pod.
He felt an intense shot of Holy Spirit adrenaline rush through his veins,
Yet.. most of the specific requests will forever escape his memory.

The young man trembled in awe, with holy reverence,
And with a resounding, doubtless “Amen!”
He looked up to see his righteous King
Nod firmly, as if to say, “I will see to it.”

As the young man sat back down,
A single yearning was left in his soul.
“Never again do I want to enter the throne room
Without such an unwavering boldness and confidence.”

For suddenly, his hand ached to swing that broad Sword,
His forearm longed to lift the solid, mighty shield of faith,
His skin cried out to embrace the fullness of Christ’s armor,
And his knees lifted with hope that God’s plans will be realized.

It was “only” a four minute and twenty second break.
It was “only” one single minute before the throne of God.
But as the young man left the training quarters,
He knew that one thing was for certain:

“My King will see to it all, beginning to end,
And I am willing, no matter the cost.”

Two Men, One Cause

Once upon a time..

There was a humble, wooden floor.
And for a little while, every morning,
Two men would bravely embrace it.

One was older; one was younger.
One was taller; one was shorter.
One had coffee; one did not have coffee.
One had a cool beard; one did not have a cool beard.

It was an interesting combination,
But differences could have cared less.
Many things bonded these two together,
But during such mornings, one purpose prevailed:

Prayer.

A prayer life is a very personal thing.
It is found in one’s closet or mind.
It is grown behind the scenes;
Cultivated between one and God alone.

But there is something special,
Something extremely special
When two people of shared burdens
Come together to pray.

But put aside human prayer.
Put aside the “Heal my bruise,” and “Help me win.”
Throw away the “Lift me up” and “If it’s Your will.”
Such prayers were not so.

They gave up the stage for the Holy Spirit to take control.
They begged for crucifixion of self.
They uttered cries of humility.
They pleaded for revival.

It was a time of war, and truthfully, they were unworthy for the fight.
However, to the glory of the cause, they had an Advocate who was worthy.
They simply came before the throne in the name of Jesus Christ.
And as they grasped the privilege of such a position, they wielded it bravely.

It was epic.
It was honorable.
It was life altering.
It was humble.

It was..

Prayer.

Hidden Tears to Calmed Fears

Once upon a time..

There was a beautiful story;
A story sweet to the ears;
A story which gives hope a chivalrous name.

And it begins with a young woman who inspired this poem:

“Hidden tears, that carry fears.
Oh what a smile you wear.
A broken heart you seem to drown;
Cries you’ll never share.

You always cry beneath your laugh
As others laugh as well.
You live a daily nightmare,
But oh you’d never tell.”

But the question remains,
“If the story is so beautiful,
Why must it begin so solemn?
Why must it begin in despair?”

And so in response, I ask this:
“Did Christ come make the good, better?
Did Christ come to make the clean, cleaner?
Did Christ come to make the proud, prouder?”

No.

Christ came to make the broken-hearted joyful.
Christ came to make the hopeless victorious.
Christ came to make the dumb speak, and the lame walk.
Christ completes the beautiful story.

Once upon a time,
There was a beautiful story.
It begins with hidden tears,
And it ends with Christ calming her fears.

Beautiful Silence

Once upon a time..

A young man who sat down to play his arrangement of, “It Is Well With My Soul.”
After his hands lifted from the keyboard, he turned around to see his family in tears.
No one spoke because the music had said what each heart could not put to words.
They sat in silence for an unknown amount of time, but it was a beautiful silence.
Because even when the notes had stopped playing, the message rang on.

And each could say,

“It is well. It is well with my soul.”