The Promised Rest: A Poetic Analysis of the Christian’s Ongoing Struggle

This bitter war does rage within my heart;

Good and evil fight with tooth and nail.

This battlefield was bloody from the start.

Can my guards destroy those who assail?

Will my heart in its sole purpose fail?


With each new day the clamor does upkeep.

While my lungs have breath it has no end.

In morning, day, and night it does not sleep,

Daily fighting, fresh scars does it send.

In this life this battle has no mend.


Without a breath, with failing, weary eyes,

Keep the fight with zeal; there is no choice.

With slashing, blocking, kill these evil spies.

They will block your ears from God’s sweet voice;

Being bound, you will no more rejoice.


Resist their chains with weapons from God’s hand,

Still they tighten, mocking all the more.

This enemy is far too great a band.

Chains are heavy; do not play the whore:

Set your face on Christ, that Refuge sure.


I love the chains; do capture me once more!

Worship once again the crafts of man;

I miss the way I bowed to them before.

Running back to deeds from which I ran,

Running back to Egypt, if I can.


Within Mitzrayim, bound now like a dog,

Mercy working in my heart, I cry.

I cry to Jesus sinking in this bog,

Knowing ears do not ignore my sigh,

Care-filled ears  which listen from the sky.


With plague on plague the city is destroyed;

Leading me, my Shepherd is most grand.

The Pharaoh-of-my-Sin is much annoyed,

Chasing while I walk on driest land.

Rushing in, the waters crush that band.


Now Christ is leading to the Mount I know,

Granting me the Law by His great love,

Assuring, Father’s pardons there bestow.

‘Mid flashing fire and smoke, O Holy Dove:

“Keep me always near Your throne above!”


The Mediator sprinkles me with blood,

Cleansing reddened sins now white as snow.

A wretch created from the lowly mud,

I who hated God as my great foe,

As His son the love of God now know.


Once more I journey on to Canaan fair;

Cloud and Fire guide me on my way,

With light by night and shade from burning air,

Eating of the manna for each day,

Safe am I, if yet I do not stray.


My pathway lies through lands of burning wrath;

Enemies abound just up ahead.

With burning heart I walk this narrow path;

All the pilgrims share my Christian dread:

I know I will yet search for other bread.


Alas, my victory is certain still,

Not because my soul has yet been good,

Nor yet because of any human will,

But because the Lord once died yet stood;

He has won where no mere man yet could.


The Lord, my rock and strength in times of trouble,

He is my salvation; in Him I deeply trust.

The Lord alone reduces men to stubble;

He will keep my armor safe from rust,

Making haste to Canaan through this dust.

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