Wednesday Writings

You Can Have It, Lord: A Poem of Relinquishment in Chronic Illness

Last week we looked at how to find grace, joy, and peace in chronic illness based on Elisabeth Elliot’s short devotional about the hymn “It Is Well With My Soul” by Horatio G. Spafford: by receiving what God has given us and by relinquishing what He takes from us.

As I meditated on Elisabeth Elliot’s words and the meaning of this favorite hymn, some words came to mind that took shape in another, informal poem that I would love to share with you. I hope it can challenge–or reflect–your heart as it has challenged mine, whatever your “it” may be.

You Can Have It, Lord
Where is it?
Where is it?
Lord, have you seen it?
I just had it,
it was right here,
and now I can’t find it–
I don’t know where it is
and I need it–

You have it?
Wait, when did you–
why did you–
I was using it, Lord.
You know how much I love it,
how much I need it.
It was good,
I was doing good things with it–
how do you expect me to–

Oh. You’re using it?
But why, Lord? For what?
What do you mean,
you can’t tell me?
Don’t I have a right to know?
I mean, I trust you, Lord, but–
it’s mine, and I had it–
I know it was yours first,
but you gave it to me,
and I thought–

You’re using it for something good?
For your name?
And for me?
Oh. Okay.
Wait, and for others too?

Yes, I do trust you,
and I will take your word for it.
It’s okay then.
You can have it,
as long as you need.
Do whatever you want with it, Lord,
I mean it.
I’ll miss it–
you know that, Lord–
but I know it’s in good hands,
and I can’t wait to see what you’re doing.
Someday you’ll let me see?
It’s okay–
I trust you–
but thanks,
I look forward to it.

And, well,
while we’re here, Lord,
is there anything else you want?

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