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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: River (08/31/06)

TITLE: The Banks of "If Only"
By Bonnie Derksen


I stood on the banks of “If Only”.
Its waters were murky and grey.
My heart discontent and unstable;
I longed for some peace for my day.

I thought of my life as I saw it,
And wondered just why all the pain.
I looked at the others around me,
Saw only their plenty and gain.

“Oh Lord, please forgive all my musing.
I know my heart should be set free
From the tethers of weighing my life out,
While complaining ‘bout all that I see.”

“It seems that I’m just like the others,
Striving to follow your will,
But while on the banks of “If Only”
I feel like I’m walking uphill.”

“My life is just not as I planned it,
Though I’ve asked for your help and your care.
The troubles have followed me closely.
I feel I’ve had more than my share.”

So I stood there and thought “Oh, if only,
I hadn’t done this or done that,
Then surely my life would be better;
His blessings laid out like a mat.”

While there on the banks of “If Only”.
I needed to hear my Dad’s voice,
For comfort and maybe an answer.
“Was all this just because of a choice?”

I waited, it seemed like forever.
My Lord was just not in a rush.
Then He came in the wind, like a whisper.
And all nature around me was hushed.

”My daughter, your musings are normal.
I know that you question and fuss.
Remember I’m strength in your weakness.
Yes, you’re right. I am not in a rush.”

”I’m God in the midst of “If Only”.
There’s nothing that happens by chance.
I’ve always been standing beside you.
Both through sweet and through harsh circumstance.”

”While you stand on the banks of “If Only”
Your eyes cannot see all the good.
Even though troubled days follow closely
By my hand, they become what they should.”

”Come on over and join me on this side.
It is here that my best can be seen.
For my glory, my purpose for your life,
Will work out and my strength you will glean.”

Now I stand on the banks of “Surrender”.
The waters are brilliant azure.
My heart is now steady and stable
Filled with peace, in His care, I am sure.

As the River of Life moves so swiftly;
As I watch how it all does unfold,
While I stand on the banks of “Surrender”
The blessings cannot all be told.

So when hardship and crisis now find me,
I will prove that my trust is in tact.
Standing firm on the banks of “Surrender”
I’ll look only to Jesus for fact.

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This article has been read 1063 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 09/07/06
I needed this today. Thank you and well done.
Beth Muehlhausen09/07/06
Boy, this hits the nail on the head:
"while on the banks of “If Only”
I feel like I’m walking uphill.”

I liked your transition to "surrender" with the middle portion that's a dialog from God.

Sharlyn Guthrie09/11/06
Your rhyme, meter, and message are all on target! Great job.
Joanne Sher 09/14/06
Oh, this is WONDERFUL! Perfect rhyme and meter, and so elegantly told. Congrats, congrats, congrats!!!
Suzanne R09/14/06
I love this, Bonnie. "If only..." versus "Surrender" ... YES! Excellent writing in every way - the content, the way it is expressed, the music of the poetry - excellent!
Kristie Derksen10/25/06
Just an amazing poem!!! I love it! xox
Monique Fox11/13/06
Come and post your poetry at Poetry and Poets of God: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/poetryandpoetsofgod/
Monique Fox11/13/06
Please come and post your poetry at Poetry and Poets of God: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/poetryandpoetsofgod/