Tuesday, July 18, 2006

It's Only After

Poem for Wednesday

I had a hard time choosing what to post next - either this poem, which is one of my all-time favourites, or my most popular one (I've Gone Home), which is everyone else's favourite. I decided to do this one today and send out the other one tomorrow. They were both written about the same time. I've Gone Home is the one that got me a lot of recognition and Internet contacts, but it is this one that really found a place in my heart - because of the theme.

I was thinking of all the different types of situations - trials, Biblical prophecies, various seasons of strife in our lives, and when the Lord brings the good out of all those hard times. It's Only After that we receive the benefit of them. It's only after that our chastisements yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness, it is only after that we come forth as gold, it is only after that the sorrow is wiped away, it is only after that the healing comes - because that is when we see what God was doing all along.

I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I've Gone Home was written to comfort a family who lost their Mom through cancer. It was placed on the Internet, as as a result of that, I received thousands of emails each month for the next couple of years. One of those email contacts was a friend called Henri, who had just lost her husband. I wrote this poem and dedicated it to her to comfort her. Somewhere along the way we lost touch, but I thank the Lord for bringing our paths together.

Originally I had all these lines jumbled together - I got the ideas out on paper, and I wasn't sure how to put them together just right. Angela Trenholm, one of my webpartners and the official critiquer of many of my poems, helped me group each theme together into the various stanzas. So even though I had the basic poem already written, it would not have had the same impact and flow without her assistance.

This is Angela's note on this poem: This poem is basically what got me restarted on writing poetry, after having laid it aside since high school. I helped Jerry get the flow of thought organized on this one, but the poem is really his, although he insists on giving me credit.

Around this time, Angela also started her own family website (I had started my poetry and Bible study websites for about 2 1/2 years prior to this time), but it was these two poems that really generated a lot of interest and opened up doors to minister online. I taught Angela how to use html, and she taught me how to make my websites better - plus helped me so much with the layout and design of them. Eventually our combined creativity (if we can call it that) led to us to join forces and move our individual websites over to EarnestlyContending three years ago.

It's Only After

Roses are so beautiful
that we forget that thorns cause pain.
We often forget that rainbows
only come after the rain.
Sometimes the sun is hidden
when storm clouds are in view.
It's only after the rose is picked
that it will bring great joy to you.

It's only after the storm subsides
that peace comes to calm the seas.
It's only when the light turns on
that the shadow suddenly flees.
Sometimes we only learn
to appreciate the light,
After walking through the darkness
in what seems like blackest night.

It's often only when you miss someone
that their worth is realized,
For iron sharpening iron
is a blessing in disguise.
You may lose your dearest friend,
yet there will always be another;
Still, Jesus is the best of friends
that sticks closer than a brother.

It's only when you see you're lost
that you truly can be found.
It's when you admit your poverty
that Christ's riches can abound.
It's only in losing yourself
that you find life's joy at last,
And sometime in the future
the Lord will heal the past.

It's only after you pray in faith
that the peace of God transcends,
And only after your faith is proved
does the trial come to an end.
It's only in surrender to the Lord
that brings end to inward strife.
It's only after dying
that we rise to endless life.

It's only after travailing
that comes the joy of a child's birth.
Only after the tribulation
comes the new heaven and new earth.
Only after a seemingly endless night
comes the dawning of the day.
It's only in eternity
that the former things are passed away.

It's only after the sorrow ceases
that comes the soothing of the pain,
And just before the darkness passes
that the Morning Star shines again.
After the tests and trials are done
the Father wipes all our tears away,
And we'll live with Christ, our Saviour,
in eternity's endless day.

August 29th, 2000
Jerry Bouey and Angela Trenholm

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

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