Grace – A Poem

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Grace – A Poem

I am awed by the way you move me
like freshly fallen snowflakes dusting across the frozen ground.
Some days I forget the barren tundra from which I came
and how you whispered by name, echoing across that vacant landscape
so that a lost soul could be found.

Some days time passes by me without a single thought
that each waking moment is a treasure –
a gift granted, light years away from being deserved.
But despite all my wrongs and all the foolish footpaths
I chose to walk, in my time of desperation I called
and without hesitation you answered.

Each single second is abounding opportunity,
a renewed possibility for new life.
My destination was one I was unable to arrive at
by the work of my own hands, but while I lingered,
withering away in the darkness, you nestled me
within your loving embrace and brought me back into the light.

The fact that I breathe and my heart beats
is a living testament to your endless love and grace.
May I never forget from where I came and that each day is a gift
that I should unceasingly praise and never waste.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley


 

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The Mirror of Truth – A Poem

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The Mirror of Truth – A Poem

Into the mirror I gaze
and am wrapped within the frame
of a smoky haze of secrets swirling within glass.

I can’t deny the face,
can’t pretend I don’t know,
have no trace of realization that the figure before my eyes is me.

It’s unsettling to see the darkness,
to discover the demons in the flesh,
to witness my flaws, flogging me in the face.

Beneath this mask of pride,
there is a face scorched and seared
by lies, deceit, and by the heat of betrayal.

I know the image I wish to see,
I know the reflection my heart believes;
but within me is a darkness I prefer not to acknowledge.

The mirror of truth does not lie,
does not flinch when it brings onlookers to their knees,
does not hide delusions, but pierces the veil of our ego.

The mirror of truth is a loving master,
a humbling stone meant to trip our feet,
a pastor to turn us towards joy and away from the bonds of slavery.

I may not like the face that stares back at me,
I may not like the icy eyes, the lips of pride,
but I have the opportunity to reconstruct my image.

Morning sun, be my witness –
when you lay down to rest tonight, the flames may remain
fueled by my darkness, but will crackle beside the waters of love and grace.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley


 

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Wandering – A Christian Poem About Guilt

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Your commandments loom over me,
Blinding my eyes like a bright light in the midst of darkness.
It hurts my eyes and causes me to turn away
From the angelic presence of your glory.
Isn’t this the essence of the human story,
Locked in a constant battle with our foolish hearts
Year after year choosing to remain chained,
Restrained in the bonds of slavery?

But what is this desire that I should
Choose slavery, to remain under the cloud of your judgement
And continue serving the weak idols of my passions
Instead of an infinite God of unfathomable majesty and might?
Why do I consistently chose to fight against you,
Knowing I will lose?
Why do I fail to chose you even when I desire to do so?
How do I approach the Judge’s bench,
Knowing beyond all doubt that I am guilty?

But your mercy is as endless as beautiful fields of clover,
Covering my rebellious ways beneath blankets of green pastures.
For who among us is without the stain of guilt
That has been branded and tattooed upon our feeble hearts?
If there is no Law, if your ways are simply the creation of the human mind,
Why do I find that I am condemned and guilty
Beyond all reasonable doubt?
It is not simply the shame of hurting my fellow man
That stirs my restless heart to reason.
No. It is a primal instinct woven into the fabric of my being
To alert me when I walk paths away from you,
Allowing me to acknowledge that I am lost without your truth.

But you are a hound dog that never grows tired,
Steadfast, seeking me throughout the ever-changing seasons of my soul,
Loving me when I’m near you,
And loving me just the same when I’ve lost control
Of my sinful desires.
Your fire burns like a raging sun and is just as hot
Among the snows of winter as it is in the summer heat.
My love is your ultimate desire,
Not because you need me, but because you know without you
I will always be incomplete.

We mute our ears to your voice,
Eager to continue along our paths to destruction,
But even the proudest hearts fall to humility
In the presence of your might.
Lord, may your light shine ever bright
And lead us from the darkness of this night,
Which we have created by blocking out
The warming rays of your precious Son.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley

If you enjoyed this post, I would greatly appreciate it if you like, share, or comment on it. Follow my blog to receive notifications when new posts are published. You can find my other Christian poems, Lent poems, love poems or inspirational poems at https://alongthebarrenroad.com/category/poetry/

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My Own Prison – A Christian Poem

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My Own Prison – A Christian Poem

Your law feels like a jailer’s prison
that constrains me in a straight jacket,
unable to move within my cell.
I could strip off my dirty clothes
and unlock my chamber door…
But what awaits me out in the free world?
What of my foolish desires
if life loses all meaning and beauty
becomes simply a fragment of the human mind?
No. I can’t bear it. I won’t.
But don’t you see my problem?
Don’t you see what leaves me pacing puzzled
with this putrid pondering,
wandering through mud and mire,
sore, winded, and tired,
flames that lick up my skin and scorch
my fragile heart and fill it with desire?

Oh, don’t you see?
There’s no hope. I’ll never be free.
I can’t live in a world without you,
but with you there’s a crushing weight
upon my shoulders I can’t bear.
Try as I might, I fail,
resigned to listen to my own desires
instead of seeking your heart.
I am a stubborn and lonely dragon,
determined to to live in a dark, dank cave
doggedly guarding my treasure.
Eyes of brimstone and hardened scales upon my skin,
too scared, too unwilling to let down my guard
and let you in.

Relieve me from my restless wanderings.
Make me feel no guilt when I fail.
Or tear down this hardened heart
and release me from this jail.
I want nothing more than to have you.
Well, nothing except maybe my own free will.
Do you see my paradoxical problem?
Do you see what keeps me up at night
tossing, turning, yearning to forget
and get some sleep?
If it be your will, release me.
Teach me how to deal with this darkness –
these starving desires constantly screaming
in my ears pleading for me to give them
some pleasure to eat.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley

If you enjoyed this post, I would greatly appreciate it if you like, share, or comment on it. Follow my blog to receive notifications when new posts are published. You can find my other Christian poems, Lent poems, love poems or inspirational poems at https://alongthebarrenroad.com/category/poetry/


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The Problem of Man – A Christian Poem

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The Problem of Man – A Christian Poem

You whisper to me in shades of sadness,
Silently stammering like a broken record
Skipping over the same ol’ speech.
What do I do with this madness –
This sinful desire that corrupts my heart with each new beat?

I welcome you with open arms
The moment pain wraps itself
Like a boa constrictor around my mind.
Plead for you to rescue me from harm,
But leave you in the shadows the second I’m doing fine.

Who but you could contain the mercy
To welcome me back time and time again through your door?
What is this unscrubbable stain marred in the depths of me
That shatters my affection for you whom I adore?

You offer me a freedom incomparable,
But my selfish heart only sees it
As a prison sentence locked in chains.
The tendency of man to wander from you is undeniable –
It’s observably obvious we’re all playing a losing game.

So how do we step up on the scale of justice,
Knowing that we carry a burden
Too heavy to counter on our own.
Left alone there is no hope for us –
The payment is much too costly for us to atone.

But in your infinite love
You sent a shepherd to track down your lost sheep.
The sacrifice we were unable to make stepped down from above
To keep the promises we are unable to keep.

Sin’s deep and dark sea you swallowed –
Vengeance poured out on the only one
Worthy to refrain from its sting.
You willingly walked to the gallows
To right the wrong and to repair our broken wings.

But yet still I am unable to turn from darkness,
My heart unable to renounce its ways.
Each time I make promises of righteousness
Your heart is time and time again betrayed.

I have the perfect lover
Standing, waiting with open arms.
Yet, still I seek another.
Still I delight in doing what I know is wrong.

Take this black piece of coal
That beats softly in my chest,
Restore it whole.
Give it the strength to pass the tests.

I once thought I was a lovely servant –
A shinning example of proper Godliness.
But I too have given ear to the serpent.
I too am weak like all the rest.

Master, keep us in your unending mercy.
Stir our hearts to seek your ways.
Give your blind children the eyes to see,
And let us incessantly sing your praise.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley

If you enjoyed this post, I would greatly appreciate it if you like, share, or comment on it. Follow my blog to receive notifications when new posts are published. You can find my other Christian poems, Lent poems, love poems or inspirational poems at https://alongthebarrenroad.com/category/poetry/


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The Battle of the Heart – A Christian Poem About Temptation

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The Battle of the Heart – A Christian Poem About Temptation

Oh Lord, my heart quakes with confusion.
My mind twisted with the delusions of desire.
I am a boat that wanders across the sea
Getting rocked by the waves day in and day out.
How do I stay afloat and stand tall
When the waters weather and tire me out?
I begin by leading a battle cry and shout with determination.
But temptation never dies.
It continues to pursue and gain ground
Until I throw my hands up in despair
And declare, “Enough! Do with me what you want.
I am your servant, bound by the chains of the flesh.”
Is this just another test that I’m failing
Or is it the enemy parading through my weaknesses,
Pulling my strings like a puppet without control?

Master, I know you are the water that restores and makes whole.
But what about tomorrow?
And tomorrow’s tomorrow?
How do I continue to flee and remain connected to the ways of the Spirit
When I am constantly being pursued from all sides?
Where do I gain the energy, the courage, Lord
To not just lay down and die?
I do what I hate.
But is this some kind of sick, twisted fate
That I must be constantly battling against myself?
I long for freedom, but freedom seems so far away.
With the dawn of each day
Desire returns stronger than yesterday
And determined to see my demise.
Do you see these tears in my eyes, Lord?
Do you understand my conflicting nature
That juggles back and forth like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?
One minute I long to confide in you,
The next you are my enemy, the master who whips me
Into submission and whose power my heart secretly despises.

I know I can’t live without you,
But with you, I know it’s only a matter of time
Before the temptress of sin turns me away from you.
My Lord and my Savior, what am I to do?
You know I long for my heart to belong to you,
But it is so dark.
It pulls me out of the light
And delights in the satisfaction of the flesh
Until my pleasures are filled,
My plate cleaned,
And I feed on the desert of guilt and shame.
My God, how do I live in a world of fire
And not be burnt and consumed by its flames?

-Poem Written By Justin Farley

If you enjoyed this post, I would greatly appreciate it if you like, share, or comment on it. Follow my blog to receive notifications when new posts are published. You can find my other Christian poems, Lent poems, love poems or inspirational poems at https://alongthebarrenroad.com/category/poetry/


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Struggling With Sin

“For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” (Romans 7:15)

prayerI think just about everyone can relate to this verse. We find ourselves committing the same sins over and over again, even after we swear we’ll never commit them again. This may be one of the hardest things about developing a relationship with Christ. We know what we should do, we want to please Jesus, but then time and time again we fall to our sinful nature. After we commit the sin, we are then left with the overwhelming guilt and inadequacy that follows.

We should strive to be perfect, but understand that we will never be. I think we have a tendency to believe that when we follow Christ, all our past struggles and sins will become easy to conquer. In fact, in many ways the opposite is true. Once the Holy Spirit enters your life and convicts you of sin, your eyes are opened to how sinful your life is. What you may have thought were a few minor problems are revealed as major stumbling blocks to a relationship with God. But the one thing that you have now that you didn’t have before is the aid of Jesus if you reach out to him.

Christianity is so comforting in many ways. Not only do we have a God who cares, but also a Savior who became man. We can’t use the excuse “…but you don’t know what it’s like” because he does. Jesus felt all the temptations that you and I face on a daily basis. He knows how powerful sin is and what we are faced against. That does not mean he gives us a get out of jail free card to do whatever we want, but we can be assured that he knows how hard it is to do the right thing.

If you look at the actions of Peter and Judas before the crucifixion, they are very similar. Judas betrayed Jesus and handed him over to die, while Peter denied him and abandoned him. I guess you could argue that Judas committed the worse sin, but they’re pretty equal. The events that followed their sins, however, are vastly different.  Judas did not believe he could ever be forgiven and killed himself. Peter, on the other hand, sought Christ’s forgiveness and became one of the greatest leaders in the history of the Church.

Our greatest threat to our relationship with God is not the original sin we commit, but believing that we’re not worthy of forgiveness. We are never too far gone. There is no sin that is greater than the mercy of Jesus. Allow shame to convict you and motivate you to change, but don’t let it tell you that you’re worthless or unlovable. Call on Jesus to extend his grace to you and pray that he gives you the strength to battle your sins. He is waiting with an extended hand to welcome you back into his arms, but you have to grab a hold of his hand.


 

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Temptation and the Train Ride

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Temptation is a coiled whip
that loves to strike and snap,
the minute you attempt to run from desire
and turn your back.

I see you coming, winding down my heart-
a beautiful black locomotive on a railway track.
I hear your whistle blowing, but my desire’s got me tied.
Trapped in your lies. Wedged in your ties.

I don’t need a ticket, boarding pass, or documentation.
You say my ride with you’s free if I want to come along-
“the last real thing in our world without a cost,” you tell me.
And I believe you.

I climb aboard and am dazzled by the glamour-
every box car’s filled with the finest comforts money can buy.
There’s guests of every nation, every gender, every race
wearing smiles and having the time of their lives.

I take my seat by the window, determined to have a splendid view.
But the farther and farther away from home I get
I begin to wonder…
just where are we going?

“Excuse me sir,” I ask one of the waiters.
“Where are we headed?”
He dodges my question, appears not to have heard,
yet has no problem offering me wine and dessert.

“No wine or dessert for me,” I say.
“I just want to know where we’re going.”
He just smiles at me, “Oh, you’ll see.” His reply leaves me
a little nervous, as if there was a secret behind that grin.

I reexamine the other passengers,
hoping they may hold answers to my questions.
But they seem so distracted by their desires-
they seem to have little care for our destination.

It’s then I see the horror,
shackles attached to their feet.
Each and every customer’s a prisoner,
believing they’re on a fine retreat.

“I want off! I want off!” I cry.
“I’m sorry. There’s no stops along our trip.”
I get up to protest, but find it hard to walk-
I notice the extra weight of chains on my feet.

I make for the door, but soon get tired.
With each step the comforts of desire
become more and more appealing, draining my hope for freedom
and questioning why I would ever want to leave.

So I join the crowed.
And sit back down.
Not caring where it is we’re going,
only thinking, “what a lovely time I’m having here”.

Temptation is a coiled whip
that loves to strike and snap,
the minute you attempt to run from desire
and turn your back.


If you enjoy my poetry, I’d appreciate follows and comments.  Thanks! 

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