I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the Land of the Living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. – Psalm 27:13-14
My mother had a maid whose name was appropriately Leola Easter. I have always believed that God sent her to us. Leola’s husband was a minister, but we soon learned that she had a deep, abiding faith of her own. My mother had cancer. Since Leola had some practical nurse’s training, she was the perfect person to care for Mom. When Mom became bedridden, Leola not only took care of the house, the cooking, my mother, but also my dad. Daddy was a wonderful Christian, husband, father , but totally lacking in household skills. This was mostly Mom’s fault, for she had spoiled him rotten. At the time, I was married, teaching school, caring for a small baby, and living about forty miles away from my parents’ home in Jackson, Mississippi. I would bring the baby and come home every weekend to take over Leola’s job. I now know that we couldn’t have kept Mom at home for as long as we did without Leola’s help. After my mother’s death, my family moved back to Jackson, where we had two other children. Leola would babysit my children on occasion. She adored them, and the feeling was mutual.
When we moved to Chattanooga, Leola would write me a letter every Christmas. She would include money for me to buy Christmas candy for the kids. At the end of every letter, she would write the two verses above from Psalm 27. These verses exemplified the way she lived. She believed that God was a loving God who knew how to give good gifts to his children, not only in the life to come, but in the here and now.
So, in this season of Lent, when we are doing some soul-searching and asking ourselves how God would have us to handle disappointments and trouble in our lives, we, like Leola, have only to look to the two verses above for our answer.
Loving God, help us never to forget that You “hold us in the palm of Your hand” and that You will never forsake us. Amen.