Saturday, April 23, 2022

The Love of God

 I happened upon this poem by Freda Hanbury Allen during my first pregnancy over 40 years ago. I had suffered severe morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum), lost 20 pounds and then capped it off with a virus that caused a fever, rash, and severe arthritic symptoms.  I read Allen's poem, based on Jeremiah 29:11, every day throughout that time of suffering and fear for our baby's health.  

In the fifth month of my pregnancy the Lord caused my path to cross with a woman who asked if she could pray for our baby.  She placed her hands on my small baby bump and when she prayed, I felt the child leap within me.  A sonogram a few weeks later renewed my hope for our child; all looked normal. Our healthy baby girl was born in November of 1980, and is now the mother of our three beautiful grandsons. 

When we go through difficult times, it is important to remember that God's love is with us and that it is safe to place our hope in the future He has planned.  

Poem based on Jeremiah 29:11 by Freda Hanbury Allen

The love of God a perfect plan
Is planning now for thee,
It holds a “future and a hope,”
Which yet thou canst not see.

Though for a season, in the dark,
He asks thy perfect trust,
E’en that thou in surrender “lay
Thy treasure in the dust,”

Yet He is planning all the while,
Unerringly He guides
The life of him, who holds His will
More dear than all besides.

Trust were not trust if thou couldst see
The ending of the way,
Nor couldst thou learn His songs by night,
Were life one radiant day.

Amid the shadows here He works
The plan designed above,
“A future and a hope” for thee
In His exceeding love.

“A future”– abiding fruit,
With loving kindness crowned;
“A hope”– which shall thine own transcend,
As Heaven the earth around.

Though veiled as yet, one day thine eyes
Shall see His plan unfold,
And clouds that darkened once the path
Shall shine with Heaven’s gold.

Enriched to all eternity
The steadfast soul shall stand,
That, “unoffended”, trusted Him
Who all life’s pathway planned.

I have an heritage of bliss,
Which yet I may not see;
The Hand that bled to make it mine,
Is keeping it for me.”

Tuesday, April 19, 2022



I have been feeling discouraged.  It seems to me that I fall far short of all God would like me to be.  I need to be kinder. I need to change my eating habits.  I need not to be so afraid, because God is with me, and I should not fear His will or doubt His protection.  

In prayer this morning, these thoughts came as from the Lord to me:  

Child, I do not tell a caterpillar that it needs to change. It is in the process of changing. It is unable to change faster, indeed, efforts to accelerate change ahead of the organism's natural timing are detrimental; the chrysalis must be left alone, not cut away.  

I was depressed over my sins and failures, and, feeling more like a slug than a caterpillar, I inquired of the Lord how one tells the difference between the two.  

The answer came gently: we tell the difference between a slug and a caterpillar by the end product.  A slug remains a slug, but a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly.  And there came the gentle assurance that both the Lord and I will be pleased with the transformation He is working in me.  

The Lord has put a vision in our hearts of what we will one day be; let's allow Him time to work the needed changes in us.  Meantime, let's not be hard on ourselves when we see that the transformation is not yet complete.  We each are a work in progress