Job's Shoes by Dan Salter
From clouds, reflections of the dying sun
Glide silently through windows of my soul,
To hang their weight, when day is fully done,
Upon my heart, its passions then control.
I saw my light, like candle snuffed, depart.
Dark agony took rein in vile employ
Of clawing, clutching fingers round my heart,
That squeezed out hope for any future joy.
The evening shade to blackest midnight sweep,
Without the moon or solitary star,
Serves only to augment despair so deep,
And keep away relief that now’s so far.
The torture of my anguished soul turned light,
The bright’ning of my day, to endless night.
About me live hard men in joyous peace,
Whose lives portray a dev’lish pride in hate.
Their curses loud and mocking scorn won’t cease;
Their hostile evils never satiate.
How can they so exist while in my soul,
That hopes for God, such grievous pain lies bare,
And wells a cry, while torments o’er me roll,
“My God! Why is it I plunged to despair?
What so much viler deed did I perform,
That they escape your retributive hand,
While all upon my soul your furies storm,
As waves of sea against eroding land?
Have you no care to give me reason why?
Have you no want of list’ning to my cry?”
Though the rebellious words I’d not declare,
Their theme rehearsed a thousand times in mind:
“It is unjust, this grief that I must bear,
And not befitting of a God so kind.”
For sure, my time before with sin I’d etched,
But that is covered o’er with ransomed blood,
Spilt out, when Christ upon the cross was stretched.
So why am I o’erwhelmed in grievous flood?
Where is the care that in a good God lies?
I’m left alone then as another said,
Troubling deaf Heaven with my bootless cries,
And wish the comfort of the painless dead.
Where once His blessing gave my soul delight,
Now, silence reigns with no relief in sight.
At times reflection grants me thought to gasp
Clear air above the raging, suff’ring tide.
A thread of light attempts to free the clasp
On faith, dark night had locked suppressed inside.
A lesson, I decide in spying hope,
Can here be found. Life I’ve alone explored
Too tightly bound within my strength and scope,
Forsaking true dependence on my Lord.
So this is not real silence, then, at all,
But sure communication to my heart.
Against my wayward steps he sends this call,
That from his trust I’ll learn to not depart.
This lesson learned, my spirit lifts up some,
For now, I think, relief will surely come.
In keen anticipation I observe
My source of torment, so God’s hand I’ll see,
In cleansing judgment marked without reserve,
That will deliver me from agony.
But patient hope, at last, begins to wane,
As unrelenting grief I still endure.
I desp’rately seek some way to explain
Continued hurt, but end once more unsure.
Still silence reigns, and still my aching dread
Builds up frustration till I cry inside,
“My God! Where is the peace and joy you said
Would come to those who safe in you abide?”
What lesson more of trust must I still learn,
Till this distress from me will fin’lly turn?
And when my strength entirely was spent,
And I sat numbly beaten in the fight,
Illuminating my predicament,
This time, began to beam a shaft of light.
True trust cannot be measured when by chance
I glide through life with no attacking dart.
Peace comes not by removing circumstance
From life, but from its reign upon my heart.
When humbly I allow the Lord to reign,
The peace he promises will then appear.
Though great the cloud, its night cannot remain,
For God, through Christ, shall wipe away each tear.
Believing this, I’ll know contentment pure,
Full faith relying on His promise sure.
The beaming sunshine of the breaking morn
Glides joyously through windows of my soul,
To nurture now new understanding born
Into my heart, its passions, then, control.
He says to trust not only when life finds
Its way through flowered meadows undisturbed,
But even also when our passage winds
Where brambled coils of torment are not curbed.
So when the troubling darkness falls around,
And deaf’ning silence seems to say he’s gone,
Assured, our trust in him can still abound.
In peaceful rest we may await the dawn.
The perfect peace from minds on God turns night,
For ev'ry anguished soul, to endless light.