Friday, September 4, 2009

My Expectation is from Thee

Elizabeth Prentiss was intimately acquainted with suffering. If you read her biography, you will find her life touched by much pain and sorrow. Yet it was through her afflictions that her faith was deepened and her heart purified. She lived a simple life as a beloved wife and mother, but her life was far from ordinary. She was a disciple who lived a Cross-centered life. The gaze of her heart was always on the way of her Savior. Her poems and songs speak of this.

Lord, I have nothing, in myself am naught,
Weak as a bruised reed Thou findest me;
And yet I dare to call myself Thy child,
Because my expectation is from Thee.

I am so poor in grace, so weak in faith,
Seek Thee so feebly on the bended knee;
And yet I must keep seeking, still aspire
Because my expectation is from Thee.

I long so for Thy presence, yet how oft
My sins constrain me from Thy face to flee;
I grieve, I falter, but hold on my way
Because my expectation is from Thee.

I do the deeds I would not do, leave undone
The gracious work that should completed be;
I am ashamed and sorry, yet hope on,
Because my expectation is from Thee.

And the dread enemy of my poor soul
Tempts me to yield and fail; but even he
Gives place at mention of Thy dearest name
Because my expectation is from Thee.

So self-renouncing, desperate in myself,
My fallen ruins I can calmly see,
For when I poorest am, all lost and gone,
My only expectation is from Thee.

- Elizabeth Prentiss (Golden Hours: Heart-Hymns of the Christian Life)