When I was a child I frequented my grandmother’s house. It was a small, simple house with an enormous apple tree in the back yard. I remember it had white walls and sheer white curtains as was typical of British décor of my grandmother’s generation. My Grandmother had immigrated from Newcastle in the 1920s after WWI. Grandma didn’t have a lot of stuff in the house. She had a few English tea cups and some dime store Knick knacks around the house. The one I particularly like was an open china Bible sitting on prayerful china hands. The Bible was open to Psalm 121 and Grandma used to read it to me from time to time.
Psalm 121 is all about trusting in God in times of difficulty. My grandmother certainly knew challenging times and difficulty. She lived through WWI in England, survived WWII and the Great Depression in this country. Her husband died in his early 50s from diabetes leaving her a widow with one son serving during the Korea conflict (my father) and another teenage son at home. She went to work as a nurses aid at a nursing home. Then in the mid 60s she was in a terrible car accident and broke her leg badly. She came to live with us for months while she recovered. Through all of this, however, I only remember her smiling, hopeful and calling me to trust in God just as the psalmist trusted in God in Psalm 121. My Grandmother lived to 106 years year old. She never lost her hopeful spirit or her trust in God.
Here’s psalm 121:
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
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