The Unveiling is Not Cruel

Did you think
To put you in a furnace
Would not scorch your skin?

To come out gold
With easy glee
And not the surfacing of sin?

Or that boiling water hot
Would like a warm bath
Scathe you not?
Like sinking in so comfortably
To fire should come easily?

Oh, perhaps some seasoned saint
Could stand unflinching at a cross-
I doubt it.

There was man- Him without dross
Who fell face down before His cross,
An angel sent to strengthen there
The Son of Man weighed down with care.

Surprised?
By this: The Man of Sorrows
Pausing, praying at the cup?
What an awful load to bear
And what a sip to sup.

But you,
You know your lot is small
Compared to Jesus
Or to Paul,
‘Tis not a stake,
Or stones, or whips
Or hungry nights and sinking ships.

“Some men by worthy trials be
Cast low,
But who should pity me?”

So in your little furnace flame
A crying up-reaching
Burns with shame,
You see you are a smoldering wick,
Should wrath be kindled
Hasting quick?

For you!
Did you not know Christ died
For you?
God’s Son He did not spare
To keep you in His loving care.

For you!
Have not the ancient words
Been spoken?
For lost, for lame,
For blind, for sinners broken?

Men despise a broken reed
But God does not.
He gently leads
And cleanses every spot.

Did you think endurance
Meant to never fall?
So with steady steps
To conquer all?
So worthily you might
Win the crown?
And say at last
“Was me who won
By never falling down”?
The valiant and strong
Shall win the prize!
All Heaven will esteem me
With their eyes!

Such outrageous scandal
Is that pride.
But every humble saint
Will dwell inside
A Heaven granted
By two nailed hands
Who alone fulfilled
The laws demands.

Where does this leave you
In your woe?
Where troubled saints toss
To and fro?
Your own heart
Like a sinking stone
Your own faith
Not as fully grown
As you thought.

Trials have a way
Of peeling
Layers back
Unveiling
Sin and fear
And doubtful hearts
Who left alone
Would sure depart.

So, is this unveiling cruel?
Does God prod
Broken sheep
With sharpened rod
As vicious tool?
And say
“What weak faith harbored there!”
Is He shocked?
Does the good shepherd mock
The limping of His flock?

Your own heart
Like a sinking stone
Your own faith
Not as fully grown
As you thought.

Have you forgot
Your faith is built upon a rock?

The God who peels layers back
Doesn’t do it to attack
His little sheep.

The great physician
Knows where injury
Is hidden,
He afflicts so as to heal
Faithfully with skilled incision.

His hands wound
But they also bind
It’s not because He is unkind
But as a Father knows what’s best
He knows your pain
Soon leads to rest,
Soon leads to harvest plentiful
With heavy branches bountiful
Where righteousness abounds,
There joy and peace are found
And so He tills the ground.

Your cry will sure find sympathy
With God.
He will not abandon
But your sins He will trod.

Comforter, Helper be His name
As at first, His love remains
The same,
Same One who called you friend
Will bring you blameless ’till the end.
Your will to His submit, and trust
Him who knows your frame
Is mindful you are dust.

I’ve decided to share this hymn at the end, as it echoes this poem so well. Enjoy, be encouraged, and be blessed.

Pensive, Doubting, Fearful Heart
Performed here by Red Mountain Music
Written by John Newton

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