A Poem for Difficult Days

3053Lord, Just today I read
That Paul and Silas were
Stripped and beaten
With wooden whips.
“Again and again the rods
Slashed across their bared backs”
But in their desolate dungeon
Their feet clamped in stocks
They prayed.
They sang.
They praised.
In this musty midnight of my life
Imprisoned in the dungeon of confusion
Bound by chains of anguish
Help me, please help me
To pray
To sing
To praise
Until the foundation shakes
Until the gates fling open
Until the chains fall off
Until I am free
To share the Good News
With other chain-bound prisoners.

—Ruth Harms Calkin,
Tell Me Again, Lord, I Forget

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Stick with your work

keep-calm-and-do-your-work-186Stick with your work.
Do not flinch because the lion roars.
Do not stop to stone the devil’s dogs.
Do not fool away your time chasing the devil’s rabbits.

Do your work.

Let liars lie.
Let sectarians quarrel.
Let critics malign.
Let enemies accuse.
Let the devil do his worst.

See to it nothing hinders you from fulfilling with joy the work God has given you.

He has not commanded you to be admired or esteemed.
He has never bidden you defend your character.
He has not set you at work to contradict falsehood (about yourself) which Satan’s or God’s servants may start to peddle, or to track down every rumor that threatens your reputation.

If you do these things, you will do nothing else.
You will be at work for yourself and not for the Lord.

Keep at your work.
Let your aim be as steady as a star.

You may be assaulted, wronged, insulted,
slandered, wounded and rejected,
misunderstood, or assigned impure motives.
You may be abused by foes, forsaken by friends,
and despised and rejected of men.

But see to it with steadfast determination,
with unfaltering zeal,
that you pursue the great purpose of your life and object of your being
until at last you can say:
“I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do.”

Anonymous