Nevertheless Afterward

Hebrews 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

I was so happy in my lot,
I was so glad of work or play,
I only asked that I might walk
With others on life's common way;
My Father let the sorrows come
That blotted out the sunlit skies,
That stopped the toil of busy hands
And turned my laughter into sighs.

I was so sorrowful, so spent,
I only asked to dwell apart,
And in the silence and the dark
To nurse my bruised and broken heart;
My Father came and took my hand
And led me forth in paths unknown,
He filled my days with crowding cares,
He would not let me weep alone.

But, looking backward now, I know
How wise and kind He was to me,
The clouds all gone, the shadows fled,
His glorious afterward I see;
If He had left me to myself
I know the joys I should have lost,
The good that I had lacked or missed,
How much I gained, how small the cost.

And shall I doubt His love today
Because once more the mists arise,
Because His hand, though leading still,
Is hidden from my blinded eyes?
Nay, help me to remember, Lord,
As 'neath the chastening rod I bow,
Thy wondrous dealing past, and trust
Thine afterward for this dark now.

Annie Johnson Flint



graphics and background by Mary Stephens
updated 2016