Go away from me, O God.
You overpower my life
and divide it ruthlessly:
the chaff from the wheat,
the longing from the glorifying,
the entrenched from the freeing,
the comfortable from the necessary.
You melt my heart
(like sap in the spring,
like snow in the winter)
until there is nothing left, for
your zeal consumes my very being.
For your sake, I breathe
and by your grace only, I live
but oh! that you would let me hide
from your gaze and take shelter
in the shadow of your wings,
rather than stand so bare
in your unrelenting light.
I am without peace
because you call me to the fullest life.
I am without rest
because you call me to utter faithfulness.
I say again: Go away from me, O God,
you are too much. I cannot
contain your eternal fire;
I cannot
be content
in your holy rage.
When I want to turn away from death,
you command my courage
to witness life;
when I (seem to) find my stride in life,
you deliver death as an ax
at the root.
I am cut down;
my life is lost to me
like a leaf swirling away in a flood.
Have mercy, LORD —
you have teased me and I
have been too easily seduced.
By your grace,
turn away.
You are my ever-present trouble;
save me at long last
and let me go.

O LORD, you have enticed me
and I was enticed;
you have overpowered me,
and you have prevailed.
(Jeremiah 20:7)


Rachel G. Hackenberg is a United Church of Christ minister, soccer mom, blogger, and author. Her book Sacred Pause plays with words to refresh our relationship with The Word.


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