“The Changed Cross”

From The Changed Cross and Other Religious Poems

by Honourable Mrs. Charles Hobart, May 1873

‘Twas a time of sadness, and my heart,
Although it knew and loved the better part,
Felt wearied with the conflict and the strife.
And all the needful discipline of life.

And while I thought on these, as given to me –
My trial tests of faith and love to be –
It seemed as if I never could be sure
That faithful to the end I should endure.

And thus, no longer trusting to His might
Who says, “We walk by faith, and not by sight,”
Doubting, and almost yielding to despair.
The thought arose – My cross I cannot bear:

Far heavier its weight must surely be
Than those of others which I daily see.
Oh! If I might another burden choose,
Methinks I should not fear my crown to lose.

A solemn silence reigned on all around –
E’en Nature’s voices uttered not a sound;
The evening shadows seemed of peace to tell,
And sleep upon my weary spirit fell.

A moment’s pause – and then a heavenly light
Beamed full upon my wondering, raptured sight;
Angels on silvery wings seemed everywhere,
And angels’ music thrilled the balmy air.

Then One, more fair than all the rest to see –
One to whom all the others bowed the knee –
Came gently to me as I trembling lay,
And, “Follow me!” He said; “I am the Way.”

Then, speaking thus, He led me far above.
And there, beneath a canopy of love,
Crosses of divers shape and size were seen,
Larger and smaller than my own had been.

And one there was, most beauteous to behold,
A little one, with jewels sat in gold.
Ah! This methought, I can with comfort wear,
For it will be an easy one to bear:

And so the little cross I quickly took;
But, all at once, my frame beneath it shook.
The sparkling jewels, fair were they to see,
But far too heavy was their weight for me.

“This may not be,” I cried, and looked again,
To see if there was any here could ease my pain;
But, one by one, I passed them slowly by,
Till on a lovely one I cast my eye.

Fair flowers around its sculptured form entwined.
And grace and beauty seemed in it combined.
Wondering, I gazed; and still I wondered more
To think so many should have passed it o’er.

But oh! That form so beautiful to see
Soon made its hidden sorrows known to me;
Thorns lay beneath those flowers and colours fair!
Sorrowing, I said: “This cross I may not bear.”

And so it was with each and all around –
Not one to suit my need could there be found;
Weeping, I laid each heavy burden down,
As my Guide gently said: “No cross, no crown!”

At length, to Him I raised my saddened heart:
He knew its sorrows, bid its doubts depart.
“Be not afraid,” He said, “but trust in me –
My perfect love shall now be shown to thee.”

And then, with lightened eyes and willing feet,
Again I turned, my earthly cross to meet,
With forward footsteps, turning not aside.
For fear some hidden evil might betide:

And there – in the prepared, appointed way,
Listening to hear, and ready to obey –
A cross I quickly found of plainest form,
With only words of love inscribed thereon.

With thankfulness I raised it from the rest,
And joyfully acknowledged it the best –
The only one of all the many there.
That I could feel was good for me to bear.

And, while I thus my chosen one confessed,
I saw a heavenly brightness on it rest;
And, as I bent, my burden to sustain,
I recognized my own old cross again.

But oh! How different did it seem to be
Now I had learned its preciousness to see!
No longer could I unbelieving say.
Perhaps another is a better way.

Ah no! Henceforth my own desire shall be,
That He who knows me best should choose for me;
And so, whate’er His love seems good to send,
I’ll trust it’s best, because He knows the end.

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Everything Is Working Out For Good

When crises form like thunderclouds

and terror sharp as lightning crowds

out faith in God’s control.

I hear his gentle voice,

“My precious child, rejoice,

and trust the jagged parts to make a whole.

You cannot see my sovereign grace

arranging everything in place.

My plan cannot be understood

by analyzing, so you must

have faith, rejoice, and trust

everything is working out for good.”

Author Unknown

“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.”  Romans 8:28

I read this poem in a Christian magazine in 1992, memorized it and have never forgotten it.  If it listed an author, I am sorry I did not write it down.  It is based on Romans 8:28.  What assurance we can have in God!