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 stumbled on to this old tree,
whose fruit the Lord forbade for me to eat,
for if I simply touch the fruit thereof,
I’ll lose the joy and pleasure of God’s love.
Anxiety aroused from God’s decree:
the chilling breath of death blows over me.
Those things I once indulged with much delight,
I wonder they may too provoke God’s might?
It promised I have nothing true to fear,
that if I eat the fruit my eyes shall clear,
and be like God with wisdom of the truth,
to cause effects my fears I now can soothe.
So with my hand I pick the fruit and eat.
My eyes pop open wide to stunned defeat.
It’s not the truth it promised unto me,
for now I’m more afraid and less complete.
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,
then all Creation’s pleasures shan’t endure.
And so Creation groaneth and travails:
disease, dysfunction, death have all prevailed;
so now I covet goods of other men,
restoring pleasures lost to me again.
And so with selfish pride I do devise
with jealous, lustful feelings in disguise
of ways to scheme, to cheat, and steal from them
those things that bring me comfort once again.
And if I fail to mastermind my way
I worry, profane, cast blame, and complain.
and with a grudge I let my temper out
upon the souls that put my ease in doubt.
But God foreknows devices in my head
and made it so my cravings never end
but hunger more with each soul I consume:
my efforts to defeat this curse, He doomed.
If I cannot escape the curse of flesh
and find a way to cope with life’s distress,
then I forsake 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 and suffer joyfully?
If we all share the same corrupted flesh,
which virtue does their spirit so attest?
The works of Christ reveal the narrow way;
these two commands that He Himself obeyed:
to love His Father God with all His life
and love His fellow man, His life denied.
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 love works I fail to understand.
The power of the gospel sets me free:
God’s Word alone inspires strength in me
to mortify the deeds 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.
Whatever happens you can still 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 be called Thy most beloved.”
“And in the case this pain does overwhelm,
I know I shall awake in Heaven’s realm:
corruptible made incorruptible,
His love perfected, indestructible.”
IN THE WORD