The everlasting arms guided me to three scriptures that became my anchors. Three scriptures I knew well, but became new all over again in the midst of my current reality.
“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.” Psalm 46:1, NLT
Mom’s maiden name was Fraser. Many ‘Frasers’ are buried in one cemetery in New York. On the main headstone Psalm 46:1 is inscribed. I don’t know the history of why this particular scripture was chosen, but I am experiencing the reality of its truth. On April 4, six months ago, I noted in the margin of my Bible Mom fractured her hip last night. Although that morning I had no idea what the next six months held, God reminded me that He was my refuge; He was my strength; and He would be there for me. Oh how I needed that!
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me,
for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
While in NJ I often found myself quoting these words of invitation, come to me; take my easy yoke. When life felt stifling, overbearing, and heavy – not easy and light, Jesus’ invitation confronted me with a choice. Will I believe his yoke is easy and his burden is light? Making the decision to trust, I prayed. Father, right now this feels heavy, too heavy for me. Will you take the heavy and leave me with the easy yoke and the light burden you promised. I prayed these words often and experienced the grace of a light burden.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death …”
from Psalm 23;1, 4
Recently Mom told me that the 23rd Psalm was her favorite scripture. Like many of you I can quote it from memory. But as I walked through my own valley of the reality of death, David’s words pushed me to a new level of trust.
Verse 1 is the thesis of the Psalm, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Or as the NLT says, “… I have all that I need.” When relationships got thorny or when the doctors and nurses couldn’t answer my questions, would I believe I had all I needed?
The month before Mom broke her hip our pastor preached on Psalm 23 preparing me for what was ahead. He concluded with these thoughts:
When I feel like faking it and wearing a mask, am I really believing that the Lord is my shepherd?
Steward your emotions and tell yourself the truth.
Oh how I needed these words this past month.
In the midst of many emotions, the truths spoken to me in Psalm 46, Matthew 11, and Psalm 23 became my personal everlasting arms.
After the Black Forest fire four years ago, my friend Carolyn brought me this piece from Israel. Once again it has special meaning.
“Be still and know that I am God.”