When I started to pray, “Please keep me sweet through it all,” it changed my focus from me and my pain to God and what He could do.
Forty years. It’s been forty years since I got that letter from a friend, a note of encouragement during an upheaval in my life. At the end of the note, she wrote, “I pray God that He will keep you sweet through it all.”
That became my prayer, and this poem was birthed from that prayer from that note. It’s been my prayer many times since when I’ve been caught in the riptide of a trial.
A few days ago a friend asked me for a copy of this poem. She remembered it from a devotional I had shared twenty-plus years ago but couldn’t remember all the words. Of course, I’d be glad to send it to her, I said.
Then I thought . . . maybe there is someone else out there who needs this poem today.
Here it is, my friend. Just for you.
Keep Me Sweet
The tree beside my window has a story to tell
Of storms and cloudy weather – how it stood and never fell.
Forgiving, believing and trusting through it all.
Let me, like my tree, grow stronger through it all.
A rainbow in its beauty is seen through eyes of tears,
And the diamond of stones after the toil of many years.
I would be a tender blossom through summer, spring, and fall –
Sending sweetest fragrance through it all.
There are questions, there are heartaches! I have wept in bitter tears.
Heal my spirit, touch me gently, brush away all my fears.
Keep me beautiful and yielded – let me Your life recall,
And somehow, keep me sweet through it all.
Transform in me Your image – Your pearl of great price;
Though I’m just a tiny vessel, I’m a diamond in Your eyes!
Use these trials to develop eternal qualities in me.
Dear Jesus, through it all, keep me sweet.
Keep me humble and willing this cross to bear;
Keep me holding Your hand, let me know that You care.
Keep me trusting and believing, whatever may befall,
And Jesus, keep me sweet through it all.
Lord Jesus, keep me sweet through it all.
Sweet, sweet Jesus, keep me sweet through it all.