Thursday, May 28, 2009

When I Was Young


As I look back on my childhood it seems like it was almost idyllic. Carefree, happy, secure--all words that describe how I feel when I recall my childhood years. At home with Mother and Daddy became my favorite place to be. How I loved them both and how safe they made me feel. No one could make me feel as treasured and protected as my parents.
When I gave my heart to the Lord at the age of fourteen, a greater joy came into my life. One that I have never been able to find the words to describe. I only know I was overwhelmed by the realization that Jesus had died for me. I had been taught, and understood, that the Son of God had willingly given His life for the sins of the world. I also understood that I was part of that world. But, for some reason I saw Him for myself, as MY Saviour. He became, and remains, my constant friend and continual source of unending joy.
I approached my life in Christ like there was no tomorrow. I prayed constantly. I read and reread the Bible. Becoming as much like Jesus as possible became my quest. Time in His presence became my treasure. I think I grew more in that first year of knowing Jesus than I did for many years after that. I yearned for Him and all that He had to offer me. Years later, I wrote a poem reflecting my feelings surrounding those days in my walk with God.


When I Was Young

When I was young I sought to do
The things that God would have me to.
My heart's desire was solely spent
On things that would be Heaven-sent,
And constantly I did repent.
When I was young.

When I was young, my heart was light.
The world was fair to my youthful sight.
I came and went just as I pleased.
My spirit soared and rambled free,
And rested in God's richest peace.
When I was young.


Those words, even now, remain so very true. It was almost as if God purposely held back adversity and allowed me to soar with Him in Heavenly places. But then life began to find me, along with its tragedies and despairs. I felt drained and empty--as if someone had removed all the joy from my life and left me a thoroughly emptied vessel.


But as my life began to pass
And I grew older, it seemed at last,
That sorrow found its way to me--
Broke my heart and humbled me.
With pain-filled eyes I came to see
I was no longer young.


It is painful to grow up and leave the comfort and security of the parental home you have loved and enjoyed. Leaving Mother and Daddy behind was sorrowful and I missed them so. Growing older in Christ is much the same. In fact, it can be more gut-wrenching as the Lord uses the crucible of life to mold us into His own likeness. I had a bedrock of faith and a knowledge that God would never leave me or forsake me but it is hard to remember this fully when the agony of your heart is crying louder than the voice of a loving God. I recalled more as I wrote.


I questioned God and asked Him why
I had to live. Could I not die?
My faith was surely and sorely tried,
My pillow wet where I had cried.
Painfully I realized
I was no longer young.


My young, broken heart found it hard to comprehend that a loving God would allow suffering such as this to those He claimed to love. I had a hard time reconciling this in my heart. One early morning, my grief so great, my heart so broken, I cried out to God, "God, if you do not help me--if you do not give me something, and give it to me now, I will not be able to stand. Please help me, Lord.". I opened my Bible randomly and it fell open to the scripture in Proverbs 18:24, "...there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.". I knew how close my natural brothers and I had been. I remembered how loyal and protective they were of me--their only sister. No matter what the circumstance, or how hard the situation, I could depend on them to be there for me. I knew then, and understood, that no matter what came to me--no matter how hard it was to endure--God would be with me. Always.


Ah! But then my eyes began to see
What suffering had done to me,
The work it wrought within my life--
Submission to the will of Christ.
I saw more clearly than years ago
When I was young.

And so I journey on through life
With a deeper knowledge of Jesus Christ,
What faith in Him can bring me through,
What trust in Him and His love can do.

Now I know that when I come
To the end of life and all is said and done,
I can let these words fall from my tongue:
"I know Him better now
Than when I was young."


The best part of surviving any circumstance that is devastating and life-changing is
seeing the hand of God in it all and knowing that the end is better than the beginning. If I come to know God more completely, trust Him more fully, love Him more than ever, then the breaking was worth it. To know Him in the carefree joy of youth is precious, but to know Him as the God of all comfort is priceless. Am I glad I came to Him as a youth? Yes!!! Am I glad to know Him now as I am getting
older? Yes!!! Still, I am glad to say, I know Him better now than when I was young.

In Grace,
Marie

3 comments:

  1. Beautifully written. I can only pray that one day I will know Him as well as you. There is a lot of work that I need to do in my relationship with God. To know and understand God in that manner at such a young age is such a blessing, if only we could all have that experience. What it must have been like to grow up with such wonderful parents who set the example of how to seek and serve God and how rewarding a life of service to Him could be, not that you would never have to endure storms, but that through those storms you could alway lean into the Everlasting Arms. I can only hope that one day I can set the same example for my children as your parents did for you. What it must have been like to be a child in your home, oh what I would give to have had that same experience. To have parents that could/would teach me about the wonderful love, power, mercy and grace of our wonderfully forgiving God. To have been able to grow up knowing the truth and experiencing God's supernatural power within my life at such a young age, oh what a difference it would have made in the life I live today. Thank you for being such a blessing in my life, please know how much your posts bless me. Lori

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Marie,

    So sorry to hear you lost your MATCHING background. Just send me your email address and your blogger password...and I'll take care of it this afternoon.

    Jan

    ReplyDelete
  3. email address is:

    mi_jt@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete