My Psalm

John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) is well-known as one of the Fireside Poets. Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote that Whittier’s poems have “the morning air of a soul that breathes freely, and always the fragrance of a loving spirit.”

His best known hymn is Dear Lord and Father of mankind, but one of my favorite poems of his is My Psalm and I’ve shared it below. It’s based on his journey through life interwoven with themes of nature and God’s providence.

My two favorite verses are:

All as God wills, who wisely heeds
To give or to withhold,
And knoweth more of all my needs
Than all my prayers have told.

And

Enough that blessings undeserved
Have marked my erring track;
That wheresoe’er my feet have swerved,
His chastening turned me back;

I’m thankful for the Lord’s guiding hand and discipline, and how He intercedes knowing my needs more than I have ever confessed in prayer.

My Psalm

I mourn no more my vanished years
Beneath a tender rain,
An April rain of smiles and tears,
My heart is young again.

The west-winds blow, and, singing low,
I hear the glad streams run;
The windows of my soul I throw
Wide open to the sun.

No longer forward nor behind
I look in hope or fear;
But, grateful, take the good I find,
The best of now and here.

I plough no more a desert land,
To harvest weed and tare;
The manna dropping from God’s hand
Rebukes my painful care.

I break my pilgrim staff, I lay
Aside the toiling oar;
The angel sought so far away
I welcome at my door.

The airs of spring may never play
Among the ripening corn,
Nor freshness of the flowers of May
Blow through the autumn morn.

Yet shall the blue-eyed gentian look
Through fringed lids to heaven,
And the pale aster in the brook
Shall see its image given;–

The woods shall wear their robes of praise,
The south-wind softly sigh,
And sweet, calm days in golden haze
Melt down the amber sky.

Not less shall manly deed and word
Rebuke an age of wrong;
The graven flowers that wreathe the sword
Make not the blade less strong.

But smiting hands shall learn to heal,–
To build as to destroy;
Nor less my heart for others feel
That I the more enjoy.

All as God wills, who wisely heeds
To give or to withhold,
And knoweth more of all my needs
Than all my prayers have told.

Enough that blessings undeserved
Have marked my erring track;
That wheresoe’er my feet have swerved,
His chastening turned me back;

That more and more a Providence
Of love is understood,
Making the springs of time and sense
Sweet with eternal good;–

That death seems but a covered way
Which opens into light,
Wherein no blinded child can stray
Beyond the Father’s sight;

That care and trial seem at last,
Through Memory’s sunset air,
Like mountain-ranges overpast,
In purple distance fair;

That all the jarring notes of life
Seem blending in a psalm,
And all the angles of its strife
Slow rounding into calm.

And so the shadows fall apart,
And so the west-winds play;
And all the windows of my heart
I open to the day.

Take Your Seat

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Jesus rise and join the Father,
Fly and claim what is yours,
No more wrath and no more sorrow,
No more shame to endure,
Sin and death – go down in defeat,
So take your seat, take your seat.

Jesus rise and receive your crown,
Fashioned for Heaven’s Best,
No cruel thorns upon your brow,
No man-made clothes for dress,
Satan’s beat – wear the Victor’s wreath,
And take your seat, take your seat.

Jesus rise to heavenly heights,
Parade beyond our dreams,
Nothing compares, no greater sight,
No reunion the same,
Oh, to see – Son and Father greet,
“Son, take your seat, take your seat.”

Behind the lines

The victorious spectacle and heavenly reunion of the Triune God after the ascension:

Acts 1:9) And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10) And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11) and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Come quickly, Lord Jesus. Amen!

Who?

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Lord of Mercy, who can dwell?
Who can live behind the veil?
Who is blameless? Who is right?
Who dares enter Clouds of Light?

Who is able? Who shall stand?
Who completes all Your commands?
Who is faultless? Who is good?
Who is cleansed by bulls and blood?

Lord of Mercy, who will pay?
I have no lamb and I’m afraid,
Am I helpless? Who will come?
Who will lead me safely on?

Who will ransom? Who will plead?
Who will enter in for me?
Who is spotless? Who is pure?
Who can walk there and endure?

Lord of Mercy, who can dwell?
Who can live behind the veil?

Behind the lines

O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill?

He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart;  who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend;  in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the LORD; who swears to his own hurt and does not change; who does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent.

He who does these things shall never be moved. (Psalm 15 ESV)

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