This contest all the saints have struggled in.
Though we have not yet spilled our blood for sin.
The Holy Father fosters within us,
A holiness to make us like Jesus.
So, brother, don’t belittle His rebuke,
Let difficulty draw you to the truth.
For pain and hardship are the price of sin,
They heal the saints, while rebels waste in them.
Remember, too, that Christ gives our reproof,
And He will not desert you through and through.
The fact He finds you worthy of His rod,
Is evidence that you are loved by God.
So persevere when persecution comes,
For God desires that He makes you sons.
Run with endurance the race that’s before,
Casting aside all that hinders.
Sin takes your throat and turns it from the Lord,
Clinging and stinging,
When you try to run as a winner.
Run knowing you are surrounded by saints,
Taking up heart by their witness.
Spur one another to keep in the race,
Striving and vying,
Brothers with you struggle in this.
Run with the weight of the cross on your back,
Only that weight gives you victory.
Christ at the fore making up what you lack,
Bleeding and pleading,
Strengthens when you’re running weakly.
Christ ran the vanguard, and He blazed the trail,
Finished by His own blood draining.
With joy took the cross, through the pain He prevailed,
Spurning the cursing,
Now with His Father is reigning.
O Lord my God, who ever guided me,
Anoint my eyes that I might clearly see.
What is this horrid news which I have heard?
Then has another man made love to her?
For I would disbelieve it if I could,
For she seemed always godly, sure, and good.
And yet the child in her makes it clear,
That she has never really held me dear.
Was all her love and purity a show?
O Holy Father, only You would know.
I look to you for guidance in my mind;
What must I do with her who once was mine?
Perhaps — for her — I never was enough.
I could not make her happy, or feel loved.
So was I always insufficient then,
That to avoid me she would turn to sin?
Yet somehow, I yet love her through it all,
And would not wish to see, or cause, her fall.
If thus without me she is better pleased,
It is enough! I am content to leave.
I only pray her other lover will,
Bring her the joy that I could not instill.
So I forgive her as I set her free
God, surely this is what you’d have of me.
“Fear not, Joseph, for that babe is me.
And you who called me “Father” soon will be,
My earthly father. Rise, and take your bride!
And name the child Jesus. He will be the Christ.”