I love writing poems. It’s my way of expressing my feelings, thoughts, and frustrations. My very first poem was about a girl (as you may already have guessed). She was someone I had admired from afar but never dared to approach. Poetry gave me an outlet to pour out the deepest feelings of my heart and soul, and helped me come to terms with what I was going through.
Through the years, I have written many poems about different facets of my life. I felt that God had blessed me with the gift of poetry. But lately, I’ve been finding it difficult to write poems with ease, which led me to wonder: Have I run out of inspiration? Or worse, am I losing my gift?
That thought troubled me deeply. At times, I found myself trying to come up with something as I listened to music—anything that I could call poetry. But nothing came. I started to wonder what artists did to prepare for grand performances and how writers of popular songs always seemed to be able to come up with wonderful music. I also began to ask myself questions like: How can I get more inspiration? What had inspired me in the past?
The questions finally led me to bigger questions: Had writing poetry become so important to me because it defined who I was? Did I feel I needed to come up with more poems because people expected me to? When did something that started as a way of expressing myself turn into something that I needed to do, upkeep, and believe in?
Then the answer dawned upon me: in itself, poetry did not matter in the grand scheme of things. Instead, what really mattered was how God wanted me to use whatever He had given me at the present time for His glory. The musician who started off as a performer, for example, may over time feel that he wants to move into teaching others to appreciate music. His roots in music are still there, but the way he manifests his gift may evolve.
But what if the same musician loses a limb or his eyesight, and is no longer able to perform or even teach? In times like these, we can only rely wholly on our Almighty Lord and trust that He has a purpose and that He will continue to work in our lives. Job is a good example. When God allowed him to be stripped of everything he had, Job recognized that all he had was from the Lord and refused to curse God and die, even though his wife told him to. Instead, he came humbly before God and proclaimed: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”(Job 1:21)
In my case, I no longer write as much poetry as I used to. Instead, I express myself in other ways, such as through writing articles, and leading and mentoring others—things that I would never have imagined doing 10 to 15 years ago. And while I do not know the future and where the Lord will lead me, I say this with confidence: There is always a purpose for everything, and in everything a purpose the Lord has made.
Empty of inspiration and thought,
Head down as I pondered on this,
Eyes closed as I prayed to God,
What have I not seen or missed?
Empty of all that I had in my gifts,
I could not help but believe in this,
That whatever comes of my lot,
I chose to walk believing in God.