I wrote this poem not long after I returned to Christ, broken and battered by a life spent running from God. Even now months later, what I wrote still holds true in my life, and I thought it would be worth sharing . . .
You showed me Your perfect plan in my youth,
And I cowardly jumped ship to Tarshish. (1)
You called me to be a witness of truth,
And I chose the belly of the fish.
I turned my camel away from the needle.
I kept my riches and ignored your decrees.
My gourd’s shadow was devoured by the weevil,
And still I lived in iniquity.
Who was I to question the Lord’s guidance:
To have dared to exalt my imagination
Against His most holy ordinance:
To have said, “I do not need salvation?”
I foolishly spent my inheritance
And sowed the only seeds I could sow:
Seeds of destruction and mischance,
Whose fruit is a life of sorrow and woe.
Woe to the man that turns his face from God.
Woe to the man who lives by my example.
Woe to the man who lives a life of fraud.
Woe to the man with the spirit of Babel.
Brethren cast down your man-made towers:
Those conclusions contrary to God’s great plan.
Be mindful of your numbered hours
And the time lost outside His caring hands.
Great is the man who knows God’s will;
Blessed be the man who knows and follows,
For in doing His will are His promises fulfilled,
Defying His will brings His curses also.
Yet, Praise be to God, though we may run,
He is never too far: never so removed,
To withhold welcome for the prodigal son,
Whose sins, washed clean by the blood, are not reproved.
Barukh attah Adonai Elohaynu, (2)
You who are worthy of all my praise.
Because you lovingly drew me back to you,
Despite my rebellious ways.
Thank You for never giving up the chase,
Though I ran a thousand miles,
I could not escape your loving embrace.
You have brought me back to Your church’s aisle.
Blessed be the Lord God and His only Son,
Though I have lost everything that I built,
What is any of that in comparison
To what I have gained through the blood spilt?
Thank you, Adonai Tsuri v’go’ali, (3)
You are the foundation of my soul’s rebirth,
And it will stand against adversity,
Even unto the end of the Earth.
To God be the power and the Glory forever,
(1) Jon 1:2-3 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.
(2) Hebrew transliteration: Blessed be the name of the Lord our God
(3) Hebrew tranlsiteration: The Lord my rock and my salvation.