from Rob Stearns

I wrote this poem over a couple days. I started out writing it on one day, had to put it down, got distracted, forgot about it, then remembered, then continued. I hope it makes sense.

The reason for this poem is my friend Jamie’s sister, Penny. She has cancer. A young woman, wife, mother, sister, daughter fighting for her life…on the inside. I was thinking about her and all the crap she is going through and just thinking about how God is looking down on her and how he can’t wait to have her in his presence. How God can’t wait to have her in HIS presence! But not in a way where he just takes people away from their families so they can play harps on clouds past the pearly gates.

No…it goes deeper than that. Much deeper.

I see God as being active in our lives. He hurts when we hurt. He’s excited when we’re excited. He cries when we reject him. He swells with pride when we follow him. And all the while he’s shaping us, molding us, stretching us…and that involves pain, hurt, suffering. It just does. But God is preparing us with this life of a paultry 72 years (or so) for ALL OF ETERNITY!!!

I’m not sure how Penny is hurting. I’m not sure why. But God is preparing her and her family for something eternal. Something that goes beyond this world’s realm.

Is Not For Now
for Penny

You lie there in pains most can fathom not
You’re lost in thoughts most have never weighed
You’re tears taste like salt
and fears spread like weeds

Yet I smile as only a Father can
I try to comfort for it is you I hold
in the darkest of days and longest of nights.

Because I know what you know not
and I know what you can not
I see what can’t be seen
and I love you more than love can give

This life will escape you
as you will escape this life
All the pain your heart does carry
All the pain your family feels
All the doubt, all the fear
The tears you taste, the–
None of this, and all of this
is not for now

None of this is for now
all of this is for tomorrow
None of this for today
all of this for eternity

I’m shaping you and those you love
I’m forming you in ways your eyes can’t perceive
I’m changing you into glorious
I’m walking with you in victorious
The pain and the fear
the doubts and the tears
is not for now



I am married to a beautiful woman named Gretchen and have three amazing girls - Tori, Isabelle, and Macie. I live in the Twin Cities area currently but I was born & raised in Columbus, OH and will always be a buckeye. I have the privilege of being a part of my faith community - The Garden Communities - and seeing the Kingdom of God expanded on the campuses of Minneapolis/St. Paul. I enjoy watching OSU football, playing basketball, drinking amazing coffee & sharing a meal with friends & family.

Is Not For Now Comment

  1. I was just crying out to God earlier today in agony over not being able to understand the why of many trials that have been going on in the lives of many of my friends, especially Penny. Including some of my own, though tiny and worthless in comparison. I was feeling frustrated that I really could not comprehend why. I mean it really seems senseless. I would pray at my desk at work, in my car, at home, even while in the bathroom. My prayers for Penny and others have begun to consume me. I feel like kicking and screaming and shouting out like a child having a tantrum. Then…I read your poem “Is Not for Now”. While reading this through tears that are streaming down my face…I realized that it really “Is not for Now”. It’s not my place to know why, but I must truly and fully trust God to give me the peace that He does know, and that is all that matters….
    Thank you for the poem!

    Becky Green

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