Pause for Poetry – by Mary Butterfield

This poem by Mary Butterfield is in the devotional book, Streams in the Desert. I couldn’t find the title or a link to it.

One day when walking down the street,

On business bent, while thinking hard

About the “hundred cares’ which seemed

Like thunderclouds about to break

In torrents, Self-pity said to me:

“You poor, poor thing, you have too much

To do. Your life is far too hard.

This heavy load will crush you soon.”

 

A swift response of sympathy

Welled up within. The burning sun

Seemed more intense. The dust and noise

With rasping blast of blowing horn

Incensed still more the whining nerves,

The fabled last back-breaking straw

To weary, troubled, fretting mind.

 

“Ah yes, it will break and crush my life;

I cannot bear this constant strain

Of endless, aggravating cares;

They are too great for such as I.”

So thus my heart consoled itself,

“Enjoying misery,” when lo!

A “still small voice” distinctly said,

“‘Twas sent to lift you–not to crush.”

I saw at once my great mistake.

 

My place was  not beneath the load

But on top! God meant it not

That I should carry it. He sent

It here to carry me. Full well

He knew my incapacity

Before the plan was made. He saw

A child of His in need of grace

And power to serve; a puny twig

Requiring sun and rain to grow;

An undeveloped chrysalis:

A weak soul lacking faith in God.

 

He could not help but see all this

And more. And then, with tender thought

He placed it where it had to grow–

Or die. To lie and cringe beneath

One’s load means death, but life and power

Await all those who dare to rise above.

 

Our burdens are our wings; on them

We soar to higher realms of grace;

Without them we must ever roam

On plains of undeveloped faith,

(For faith grows but by exercise

In circumstance impossible.)

 

O paradox of Heaven. The load

We think will crush was sent to lift us

Up to God! Then, soul of mine,

Climb up! Nothing can e’er be crushed

Save what is underneath the weight.

 

How may we climb! By what ascent

Will we crest the critical cares

Of life! Within His word is found

The key which opens His secret stairs;

Alone with Christ, secluded there,

We mount our loads, and rest in Him.

Mary Butterfield

Streams in the Desert

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I wish you well.

Sandy

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6 thoughts on “Pause for Poetry – by Mary Butterfield

  1. I love this poem, Sandy. I’m grateful to have learned of Streams in the Desert devotional book from one of your earlier posts. It has been such a blessing to me!

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