We are exiles in the broken world, slowly following the Lord home.
He found us and said, Come to me, all who are weary and heavy leaden.
My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
And we believed and rejoiced as he washed away crimson sin.
But soon things stop being easy;
no shining future in sight—
only a rugged wilderness, and all we can see of our savior
is a pierced hand dragging us forward.
Then one day bruised and weary, we stumble into a garden:
a fragment left of Eden and the Lord says, Grow here.
Here he waters dry and cracked hearts, filling every hole,
Here he shines the sun upon our faces, thawing out the cold,
and here we meet each other, as the Lord brushes away fear,
presses our hands together, saying, hold on tight, I’ve given you each other,
and so we grow. Fingers laced together, bits of wisdom falling from our mouths,
riches in the soil. Suddenly roots drop deep into the earth
(he is the vine; we are the branches)
and up we go, like trees stretched toward heaven,
singing hymns as leaves turn green and spring buds flower
We marvel at the fruit that glimmers on our branches:
love and joy and peace,
patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, self control
We’ve never felt like this before,
(but this is just a taste).
One day the Lord takes our hands again and pulls our fingers apart
intertwined branches crying out; we never wanted this
he leads us into lands that look like shadows, and we can’t help turning back
O Friend, in dark hours hold tight to our savior’s hand
and you’ll hold everything you need;
It is he who gave us living water, healed the broken places;
in him we grew roots deep and shoots high,
So in the quiet listen to his voice,
Nothing has changed. I have loved you with an everlasting love.
I will never leave you or forsake you. I know where we are going,
For I know the plans I have for you,
plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Friend, he will be gracious at the sound of your cry, saying
This is the way, walk in it, when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left
and when you feel like you are wasting away, know you are
afflicted but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair
persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed
and his power is made perfect in weakness
For he is bringing the exiles into Eden singing,
To a garden where the leaves of the trees heal the nations,
where we will see his face, and night will be no more,
where we will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be our light.
So why are you cast down o my soul?
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him;
my salvation and my God.