Did You Ask?

Did you ask the Lord for patience?

Did you plead for it in prayer?

But when tribulation tried you,

Did you think He didn’t care?

Oh, my child, He heard and answered,

Answered full your earnest cry:

“Tribulation worketh patience!”

Now you know the reason why.

Did you ask Him for submission?

Did you ask for it in prayer?

But when suffering came upon you,

Did you think it wasn’t fair?

Oh, my dear, He heard and answered,

Though not how you wished, ‘tis clear;

For we only learn submission

By the things we suffer here.

‘Twas unselfishness you wanted?

Did you plead for it in prayer?

But the sacrifice He asked for,

Did it seem too great to bear?

Oh, He cared, He heard and answered,

Answered full your heart-felt prayer;

For we learn to be unselfish,

By the sacrifice we bear.

Did you ask the Lord for victory?

Well, He took you at your word!

Tho’ when the battle raged around you,

You wondered if He’d heard.

Oh, my child, He heard and answered,

And He gave you your request:

For how can you win a victory

If you never face a test?

Did you ask to be made humble?

Not to have self-righteous pride?

But then wonder when He published

All your failings far and wide?

Well, my child, that was His answer

To your prayer of desperation:

The surest way to be made humble,

Is to bear humiliation.

Judge not God with mortal’s judgement, When your prayers are answered so;

For the truest paths for Christians,

Often lead through vales of woe.

And the answers that He gives you,

Will be truly good and fair:

Though you may not understand them

Till you view from over there!

–Josephine Hope Westervelt

Poetically Prophetic

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