Gracious, Bitter Cold

gracious-bitter-cold-1 .

Father, I come with an urgent plea,

For I see a slow, dull death

Creeping up inside of me.

A death, like mold, that spreads

And thrives in warm, stale climes.


This death is such a subtle one,

Not easily discerned.

And I thank You for the grace to see

What many eyes – including mine –

Often miss, or simply just ignore,

Trading truth for dreamlands

Of sparkling, ignorant bliss.


Like soldiers on a battleground,

‘Mid bullets, blood, and blasts,

Found seated, nice and cozy,

Warm and chatting by a fire,

Boiling water, though the canons rage,

To sip a spot of tea.


This is the danger that I see,

The threat of warmth building up within me.


That I might pursue, or worse, might find,

The American dream, which skillfully Invades the unprotected heart and mind.


Life abundant, freedom wide,

And happiness warming the heart inside –

Things not wrong within themselves,

But all too often they distract me,

From the savage battle raging ’round me.


Satisfaction kills my need for progress.

Feeling I’ve gone far enough,

Will only keep my feet from pressing on.

Feeling I’ve climbed high enough,

Will rob me of the views and vistas

Climbing on would bring.


Father, guard my heart from feeling warm.


Guard my eyes from blindness

To the need to press for more.

Guard me from contentment found In anything but what You have in store.


Guard me from the kind of heart

That’s satisfied – while others die –

To sit and sip on tea,

To waste away the hours lost in fiction on T.V.,

To limit all my time to just one close, small group of friends,

Or chase the lie that money is the end to end all ends.


We wrestle not with flesh and blood,

And yet, alas, we wrestle!


Like standing in the ring, when

Our enemy is drawing back his final, knockout blow,

And we are texting, taking selfies,

Writing out our wish lists,

Or chatting on the phone,

Oblivious to just how much

The hurt is going to hurt,

When his well-timed blow comes down.


God, I beg You, wake me up inside.


Use the ice-cold truth of an awareness of what’s real.

Make the raw and icy cold discomfort

Drive me on to find what’s warm,

Yet, guard me from the fleeting heat

Of all besides Your arms.


Make warmth my greatest goal,

But only warmth that’s found in You,

Found in working hard for You,

And found in loving others at great cost,

Found in furthering Your goals

For Your great kingdom here on earth.


And, until my warmth is found in You, and You alone,

Fill me with a gracious, bitter chill down to the bones.

A chill that will protect me from a lesser warmth that kills.

A chill that will remind me

Not to stop and settle down,

But to move, to climb, to run and grow,

Until Your work in me, Your will for me,

And Your purposes for all this age of time,

Are fully done.




About Kevin Burrill

A Christian, a pastor, a widower, a husband, a father, a thinker, a worshipper, and a teacher - simply seeking to know my God more and more along the journey, and hoping that what I'm learning will impact others as I'm finding out His greatness. View all posts by Kevin Burrill

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