God’s Will: He Desires Goodness

Below you will find a poem analysis for the poem “God’s Will for You and Me.” My analysis is not similar to any I have seen yet, so I am interested in sharing my views and even more interested in YOUR response or comments about my thoughts. I invite comments and am eager to engage!

“God’s Will for You and Me”

Just to be tender, just to be true,
Just to be glad the whole day through,
Just to be merciful, just to be mild,
Just to be trustful as a child
Just to be gentle and kind and sweet,
Just to be helpful with willing feet,
Just to be cheery when things go wrong,
Just to drive sadness away with a song,
Whether the hour is dark or bright
Just to be loyal to God and right,
Just to believe that God knows best,
Just in his promises ever to rest-
Just to let love be our daily key,
That is God’s will for you and me.

He Desires Goodness

“God’s Will for You and Me” is a poem, in which, upon first read has a childish flow and rhyming way to it. It has the appearance of a sweet poem that could have been written by a child, or for children. With further appraisal the poem starts to come to life and evokes two contrary images. First, the repetition of the word “just,” at the beginning of all but two lines, seems to have a semi-sarcastic tone. A second and quite different image also presents itself. The poem voices a longing for a way of life that seems so simple, the way God intends life to be. It tells a tale of the power of faith, and the simple, mere living that is possible when God reigns over the earth, when all of the “justs” in the poem will be simple and possible; when God’s will is fulfilled.

“God’s Will for You and Me” is a poem written by an unknown author. The poem is set in a melodic, rhyming couplet scheme and consists of fourteen total lines, of which, eleven are imperatives. There is dual verb tense usage throughout, both the present tense (lines 9, 12, 14) and the infinitive tense in the remaining lines. The vocabulary is basic and the grammar is simple which enables the poem to be understood by young and old alike. The poem almost has the appearance of child authorship, which sets the tone of the poem.

The tone of the poem is brought to life by the use of the word “just,” the repetition of the infinitive verb tense, and the extensive adjective list to be implemented by the reader. The adverb “just,” is synonymous with the words: merely and simply, in its context in this poem. When “just” and “be” are strung together in consecutive lines as an imperative it almost has a mocking tone:

Just to be trustful as a child
Just to be gentle and kind and sweet,
Just to be helpful with willing feet,
Just to be cheery when things go wrong, (4-7)

It is easy for one to consider being sweet or kind, but the list of adjectives is fairly extensive and when applying the entire adjective list to one’s life it might seem impossible. Just be: tender, true, glad, merciful, trustful, gentle, helpful, cheery, and loyal; one of these commands is a far reach for most people to do on a continual, endless basis. So without the support of someone or something greater than the “self” this poem is absolutely mocking in its tone.

Is it that simple to “just” live God’s will?!

Without faith in the Father this poem has a condescending tone, but with faith this poem is a beautiful summary of God’s hope and vision for his children. God understands the effects the fall has had on His good creation and he wishes for us to come to Him for support:

Just to drive sadness away with a song,
Whether the hour is dark or bright
Just to be loyal to God and right,
Just to believe that God knows best,
Just in his promises ever to rest-
Just to let love be our daily key,
That is God’s will for you and me. (8-14)

What is pronounced in the end of this poem is: human kind is not capable of living God’s will without loyalty and belief in Him. The true picture that is painted by the poet is, God has a plan for us, He desires goodness in His creation and for all to experience the abundant peace found when His will is done.

“God’s Will for You and Me” is a poem that is simple in appearance, yet with rumination and analysis the poem is anything but simple. There are variables that need be considered and this poem evokes two contrary images, depending on where one places their faith. First, the repetition of the word “just” before all the commands leaves one feeling mocked and addressed in a condescending way. A second and quite different image also presents itself. The poem voices the way God intends life to be. It tells a tale of the power of faith, and the simple, mere living that is possible when one places their loyalty in God. God desires goodness and simplicity for His children; this is His will for you and me.

So, what are your thoughts on this poem?

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