This was probably written by John Milton in 1655, the year he became completely blind at the age of 47. Only in his middle-age, he may have felt that writing, his one great gift by which he hoped to serve his Maker, may have been lost to him.
Yet, his greatest work, Paradise Lost, was still to come. God is not done with us here until He is done, and then He takes us Home to serve Him there, which is far better.
On His Blindness
When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide,
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.”
We studied this sonnet in school recently. It is amazing that God Who does not need anyone to help Him, still asks us to serve Him and rejoices in our service. My favourite line is the last. We often think that we can’t serve God unless we are doing something, but many times we serve best by standing still and waiting.
Hello, Sharlene, thanks for the comment.
Yes, that last line is the best-known for a reason. Of course, the key to it all is that the real service is praise and love, and we can do that when everything else is put on hold.