Lord, how long will this ache last?
How long must I be patient?
How long must I struggle to be faithful?

How can I be grateful?

I am stuck in my distrust,
      stuck in my stubbornness,
            stuck in my sinfulness!

Failure covers my eyes,
and defeat blurs my vision.

What is there left for me to see?

All I see is a church surrounded by torn walls.
Destruction and obstruction in the name of construction.
Lord, do you see your people?

All I see is a broken, wicked, and corrupt society.
There is unrest, unrest in this city!
Lord, your sovereignty is questioned and denied,
so justice now feels like a fairytale.

All I see is a mongering crowd clamouring for my attention.
They play God, assigning blame for this suffering,
giving lies to this hardship, 
throwing fickle opinions to this hate.

All I see, Lord, is my list of prayers:
my list of grievances piling up
and weighing heavy on my heart.
How can I be thankful when division keeps us apart?

Confusion overwhelms my mind:
Where is the light?
Where is the light?
Hope is so, so dim.

Yet what is left,
what remains, 
reveals him.

I still hear his voice ringing out in the music,
      still hear his encouragement through his people,
            still hear him when I read his Word,
                  his echoes reverberating in my life.

I still feel his love in the embrace of family,
      still feel his joy in the warmth of friends,
            still feel his protection and providence when I’m kept safe,
                  his hand guiding me day by day.

I still taste,
      still see that the Lord is good.

How can I find gratitude?
I find gratitude in the dark.
It illuminates the strongest of trials.
It outshines the greatest of desperations.
It pierces through the longest of nights.

Gratitude is not found 
      in circumstance,
      in emotions,
      in outcomes,
      or even in myself.

Gratitude is found 
      in remembrance,
      in reflection,
      in painful obedience,
      in reaching out toward the unseen.

Because I still find Jesus in the dark.
He is my light,
      my life,
            my salvation!

There is nothing I need that I lack,
because he is all, he is everything!

I praise him in the dark,
because I have him in the dark.

So with veiled eyes and clouded sight,
I thank you, Lord.
Thank you!
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About the Author

Eliza Hope C

Eliza is a graduate from UTSC who currently works as a piano teacher. She owns too many plants, has a strange fascination with trees and birds, and desires to follow Jesus wherever he calls her. You can find more of her reflections, ideas, and poetry on akindofkintsukuroi.wordpress.com.

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