To walk upon the soft and sandy grounds
Of Eden’s fertile gardens that astound,
My senses full of pleasures that abound
Of colors, shapes, and flavors, even sounds.

But then I stumble on to this old tree
Whose fruit the Lord forbids for me to eat,
And if I simply touch the fruit thereof,
I’ll lose the peace and pleasure of God’s love.

I sense a fear on learning God’s decree:
The chilling breath of death blows over me;
Those things I now indulge with much delight,
Could they, instead, portend mine own demise?

A lie told me there’s nothing I should fear;
That if I eat the fruit my eyes shall clear
And be like God with wisdom of the truth
To make it so that only good ensues.

So with my hand I pick the fruit to eat;
My eyes pop open wide to stunned defeat;
It’s not the truth the lie had promised me,
For now I’m more afraid and incomplete.

The Lord then cursed the ground and all of life
To prove things only work by His design;
Without His word upholding all things good,
The blessings of God’s works become obscured.

And so Creation groaneth and travails;
Disease, dysfunction, death, alas, prevails;
And now I covet goods of other men,
Pursuing them to soothe my discontent.

So now with selfish pride I do devise,
With jealous, lustful feelings in disguise
Of ways to scheme, to cheat, and steal from men,
Those goods that bring me pleasure once again.

But if I fail to manage mine own way
I worry, curse, disparage, and complain;
For with a grudge I let my temper out
Upon the souls who put my ease in doubt.

But God foreknows the evil I devise,
And makes it so my cravings never die;
My lusting grows with every soul consumed:
My efforts to defeat the curse are doomed.

If I cannot escape the curse of flesh
And find a way to cope with life’s distress,
Then I despair all hope of pain’s relief,
And so my spirit spirals into grief.

But why is it that those worse off than me
Endure the pain to suffer joyfully?
If we all share the same corrupted flesh,
Which virtue does their spirit manifest?

The works of Christ reveal the narrow way
With two commands that He, Himself, obeyed:
To love His Father God with all His life
And love His fellow man, for whom He died.

But how does love put out the pains that rage
And not inflame the aches I need assuaged?
I need to break the curse of fallen man,
But how to love I fail to understand.

The power of the gospel makes me see:
God’s Word alone inspires strength in me
To mortify the lusts of broken flesh
And give to others goods that I possess.

To see the joy in one man’s eyes with tears,
Who once was beaten down and in despair,
Evokes a pleasure I have never known:
The love of God thru me so brightly shown.

I still do suffer from the aches and pains,
But now prefer to give than to complain;
And when the pain gets more than I may bear,
The Word of God reminds me to declare:

Temptations shall not overcome you child,
For God shall not let sin your soul defile;
But with the pain shall make for you a way,
And all you have to do is just obey.

So in the darkest moments of my life,
I speak these words to Him who won the fight:

I thank you for Your love that strengthens me;
I trust the Words that You have guaranteed.

This pain that grieves me comes from Thine own hand,
And it shall go away at Thy command;
But if this pain You want me to endure,
Then by Thy grace my faith is made secure,

And with the patience taught to me by You,
We forge a perfect work that You may use
To help another soul who needs Your love,
That we may all share blessings from above.

And in the case this pain does overwhelm,
I know I shall awake in Heaven’s realm:
Corruptible made incorruptible,
His love perfected, indestructible.