Just recently, not long ago
in the middle of a teary-eyed flow,
the Lord made clear
what He wished me to know
about the past anguished year
Astonished at what He revealed
concerning the layers he needed to peel,
but the analogy shown
was truly something I could own –
something I could feel.
I am a lover of order to a fault,
always cleaning even when I ought
to quit and take some rest ~
another project, a further quest ~
almost like a battle fought.
But the year that had just passed
was even harder than the last,
and all I could do was cry
and wait for the Lord to answer my
pain-filled prayers that I cast.
Into the waves of the storm
that did not let up at night or morn –
every hope seemed dashed,
my boat of expectation crashed
with my soul disheveled and torn.
What came up out of me
reflected a grief I could not see,
and disappointment from days gone by.
Somewhere beyond my conscious eye~
at the back of the closet they hid quietly.
Until the moment God had chosen
to bring to light what was frozen –
in a heap I had not seen –
and had missed every time that I cleaned
the front of my closet’s emotion.
Only God knew what was there
and only He could share
what needed to be cleared
at the back of the closet beyond my fear.
His hand reached with knowing care –
to thoroughly clean and sweep
that putrid and loathsome heap.
I was dry as dead bones in the desert wind
yet, He breathed me back to life again:
the storm calmed and I could sleep.
I was asked what was different now
and exactly how
had I been restored to hope?
What I could not bear I could now cope
and my woeful story turned to wow!
When God cleaned the back of the closet!
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Sharon Patterson, retired educator, career military wife, and leader in women’s ministry, has written inspirational encouragement in various forms from greeting cards to short stories, poetry, and Bible studies for over thirty years. She has authored three books, and is a contributing author for several of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She and her husband Garry live in Round Rock, Texas. They have three sons and five grandchildren.