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A Polished Shaft

I'm just a twig in God's great hand -
I'm average as twigs go -
I've got my knots and twisted spots -
How He'll use me I don't know.
He said, "I'll make an arrow from this stick,
As straight as one can be."
I thought, "For practice I'll be used -
I'm not the straightest off the tree."
He made a fire and set me close.
"That hurts!" I cried in pain.
I knew that I would catch on fire
and burn up in the flame!
Just when I could take no more
He pulled me from the flame.
He cooled me with a dampened rag
and rubbed me with the same.
I felt my twists begin to straighten -
my knots he cut away.
It hurt so bad I thought I'd brake,
but He knew just what to say.
"I made you, and I know your frame
that you are but a stick.
The flame, though painful, softens you
and helps you bend a bit.
I rub and cut and heat again
to straighten and to smooth you
and soon I'll have you finished,
Trust me, I'll not abuse you."
Silently then I took the pain
and tried to keep from breaking.
I never thought I'd be this straight!
In God I am a new making.
The flames, they hurt -
and the blade caused pain of very high degree -
but going back, I'd take them still
because of what they made me.
A straightened arrow now I am,
and used for practice I'll not be.
For in God's hand I'm a polished shaft.
Through trial this He made me.

Joshua Lancaster

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