First sentence: I am not a poet; I am a pilgrim. I am not attracted to formal, overly romantic Christian verse, but I think that we do not train our eyes to see enough, our hearts to consider enough, and our emotions to celebrate enough the glories of the grace that is showered down on us in a thousand ways every day.
My Heart Cries Out is a new devotional book by Paul David Tripp. The devotions are poems. But don't let the poetry scare you away. This book is far from intimidating--it's refreshing, honest, genuine. I enjoyed most--if not all--the entries. Which is saying a lot considering the fact that it's poetry. I am not a big reader of devotional books. I like books with weight, substance, heart--not light, fluffy, feathery nonsense. This book has substance. But again, it's not intimidating. Truth resonates.
I loved, loved, loved some of these:
My heart cries out, but I am not afraid, discouraged, panicked, forgotten, alone, dismayed, or doubtful because in the din of a million voices from every place in every situation young and old crying day and night in weakness, in alienation, in fear, and in distress, you are not overwhelmed, you are not distracted, you are not disgusted, you are not discouraged, you are not exhausted. But you listen, you hear, you attend to my cry in tenderness of mercy, in patience of spirit, and with generosity of love you listen to my plea and you never turn away. But with power and wisdom and the tender heart of a Savior, you do this amazing thing—you answer. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. (1 Pet. 3:12)
You are the sun that shines in darkness. You are the water that quenches thirst. You are the balm that heals the wounded. You are the master that calms the storm. You are the rose of brightest beauty. You are the chosen, perfect lamb. You are the king of a greater kingdom. You are the captain of battles won. You are the lion of chosen Judah. You are the dove of peace that’s come. You are the shelter for the homeless. You are the father to helpless orphans. You are the chosen, suffering son. You are my God, my Savior, my hope, my life, my forgiveness, my wisdom, my strength, my righteousness, my peace, my Father, my brother, and my friend. Because you are, I am what I am.
You are not a distant Lord, or a detached Master, moving the pawns on the board in an impersonal act of winning. Your lordship does not separate me from you as a serf would be separated from a king. No, you accomplished your sovereign plan by invading my dark and messy world in the person of your Son, giving yourself in radical grace to people who saw no value in your nearness. You are Master, and you are Immanuel. You are Lord, and you are Father. You are King, and you are Friend. You are Sovereign and you are Shepherd. Your rule is not from afar. No, your rule brings you near. I have hope today, because you are not distant. And I celebrate the amazing rest and strength to be found in the reality that your sovereignty has brought you near.
I was not designed to be on my own, to author my own story, to compose my own rules, to live with me in the center. I was not designed to question your goodness, to bring you to the court of my judgment, to be bitter in my assessment of the things you do. for owning my heart’s desires, for teaching me that my life is you. I was not designed to look for life outside of you, to treasure the creation, to love people, places, and things, more than you. I was not designed to let my heart fill with envy, to be constantly accounting, to be jealous and untrusting instead of resting in you. I was not designed to rely on my wisdom, to trust my imagination, to rely on my thoughts, to ignore your revelation. I was not designed to follow the paths of my craving, to be enslaved to my desires, to be ruled by my passions, more than I am by you.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible