"Now" - "Then"

Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 4:17.

Now the bitter partings, eyes bedimmed with tears,
Hearts o'erwhelmed with sorrow, filled with doubts and fears;
Now the barren desert, scene of strife and sin,
Now the noise of battle, conflict's weary din.

Then the blessed meetings, tears all wiped away,
Hearts with joy o'erflowing; bright, unclouded day;
Then to drink the fountain, river of God's grace,
No more toil and sorrow, we "shall see His face."

Now the pain and suffering, day of shame and loss,
Now the rugged valley, shadowed by the cross;
Still we tread the desert where God's Son has been,
But our joys and treasures are outside this scene.

Then all suffering vanished, loss turned into gain,
Then the songs of triumph, death no more shall reign;
Then the weary pilgrim shall find perfect rest
In God's wondrous favour - how supremely blest!

Now sore disappointments, all is changing here,
Nought the world can offer gives us lasting cheer;
All is void and empty, nought can satisfy,
And earth's fairest flow'rets only droop and die.

Then no disappointments to that scene can come,
Heavenly pleasures fade not in yen blessed home;
Crowns and palms of victory all the ransomed bear,
Peace and joy eternal speak of Jesus there.

Let us still press onward to the rest above,
Cheered now in the desert by God's ceaseless love;
Then with joy before Him all the path to trace,
How He led and kept us in His matchless grace.

How our lips shall praise Him when the race is run,
When we hear Him utter those sweet words, "Well done,"
All the pain and suffering of this "little while"
Blessedly rewarded by His radiant smile. F. E. L. B.