Each of us has experienced difficult times when we question ourself-worth or perhaps battle with confusion, disappointment, despair, or frustration. Are you going through a struggle that makes you feel like you are stuck in murky quicksand, unable to break free or begin anew? I’ve lived through times when days seem to be painted a dull drab gray, and it appeared I’d closed myself off in a human capsule, unable torelate to the world around me.
Many times, I’ve come to realize that my perceptions of thingshave created nonexistent monsters like those created in our minds as children. However, I am learning that God doesn’t leave me alone to work through difficult situations by myself like a shipwrecked sailor on a deserted island. I find that my poor judgment or bad decision often further complicates the dilemma I’m confronting. Relief comes to me when I stop blaming God for whatever nightmare I am facing and devote quiet time in prayer with Him. God’s response doesn’t come likea light streaming from the heavens or a bright, colorful rainbow shining outside my window; it’s more like an Alaskan ice cap that slowly begins to thaw and break up with the warmth of the spring rain. As I pour out my heartfelt problems to God, creative solutions spring forth in my mindlike an arrow shot from the quiver of a bow, destined to find its mark in the very heart of my problem. A new idea and hope emerges that propels me to make a sound decision to rejoin the imperfect human race, fight the good fight, and run the race of life.
Through the years I have come to know that God loves us moredeeply than we love ourselves. God never abandons us but waitspatiently and lovingly for us to call out for His help. I admit there are times I don’t understand His ways. However, as I put my trust in God by earnestly and honestly seeking His guidance and grace for my life, all the difficulties I’m having seem to become easier with which to deal. Complex issues seem to melt like ice cream on a hot summer day.
By inviting God to be the rudder of my ship each day, my life hastaken on a bright new meaning. It can be like the excitement of startingto read an exciting new novel, wondering what wonderful surprise andblessing God has in store for me in the next pages. In sacred scriptures,we read that God inhibits the praises and answers the prayers of His people. He can and will move the mountains and obstacles that often feel like handcuffs upon our wrists. God will bring us comfort, peace, and joy as we put our trust in Him and give God the freedom to work in our lives.
May this collection of poems be a source of inspiration to eachreader and foster renewed hope in your heart.
Richard C. Dick Matt ock, Jr. has writt en poems for almost every occasion. My purpose for writi ng this book is to be a source of encouragement to each reader. The poems in this book refl ect the power of encouragement. The many ways we give and receive it changes lives. My hope is that these poems will inspire each reader to positi vely infl uence the people they meet along life’s pathway. I find Americans are good, kind, caring people and as we encourage one another we will enjoy happier lives. We will have the power to aff ect and positively impact the lives of an entire nation.
Throughout my lifeti me I’ve observed people who were struggling withproblems that were devastati ng. In your lifeti me, how many ti mes have yourecognized someone in need of encouragement? Perhaps a young childdiscouraged by their inability to grasp an academic principle. Or a parentstruggling with the death of a spouse, child or other loved one. Maybe it wasa spouse frustrated and exhausted while caring for their terminally ill spouse, lover, and best friend. It may be acoworker, responsible for raising several children trying to cope with the complexiti es of an impending divorce.Maybe a close friend or family member coping with the loss of a job, suff ering from low self esteem or depression.It might just be the checkout clerk at a local grocery store who has experienced wall-to-wall customers who havevented their impati ence or anger through the checkout line.
I’ve seen the positi ve eff ect of a kind word, a listening ear, a small compliment can have on people. When we express our concern for others, moti vati on and inspirati on fl ows into their lives and strengthens them. As you read these poems, it is my heartf elt hope that you, too, will be encouraged.