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Grandma's Bible

Posted by Dr. Wade Smith on

One of the treasures I possess is The Living Bible that belonged to my Grandma Bessie. Grandma lived to be 99 and was a godly influence in my life and faith. She loved the Lord Jesus and she loved her church. As a boy, I loved to sit by her in church because her gentle hand would caress my arms and back. (And, she always had candy in her purse.) As a young minister, I grieved with her as I prepared to speak at my aunt’s funeral. She said, “Wade, it’s not supposed to be like this, a mother burying her daughter.”

I am currently preaching from the Psalms. I enjoy reading different Bible translations and decided to open my Grandma’s Living Bible. It had been years since I glanced through her Bible and was taken aback when I opened the tattered pages and instantly smelled the forgotten fragrance of her living room. I was entering holy ground.

As I read through the Psalms, I noticed she had underlined verses and phrases. In Psalm 4, she marked the phrase, “Put your trust in the Lord.” A few verses later she highlighted, “I will lie down in peace and sleep, for though I am alone, O Lord, you will keep me safe.” I paused to pray and give thanks for her faith and influence.

My grandma was a widow. I never knew my Grandpa Smith because he died of a heart attack when I was just a few months old. After his death, my grandma remained single for the rest of her life. In fact, she was a widow longer than she was married. Her two children moved to different states and began their families. All of this to say, most of her adult life, my Grandma lived alone.

And here in Psalm 4 was the prayer that sustained her: “I trust in the Lord. Even though I am alone, I can lie down in peace and sleep because the Lord will keep me safe.” I can only imagine the countless number of nights that she must have gone to bed anxious and alone, missing the comfort and warmth of her husband and the presence of her children and grandchildren. My grandma was a strong woman, but in the loneliness and quiet of those dark nights, I can imagine the tears that gently fell on her pillow.

Yet, she knew she was not alone. Her Lord was a constant comforting presence. And in this she found peace and sleep in the midst of her aloneness. An unmarked verse in Psalm 4 says, “Lie quietly upon your bed in silent meditation.” In the peace of her bed and the safety of her Lord, I can see my Grandma lying quietly in the darkness, meditating on this Psalm and offering prayers for her children and grandchildren. Those prayers helped shape and influence this grandson. Those prayers continue to be answered today as I smell her living room and read through the Psalms that strengthened her faith and brought comfort to her life.

What prayers and treasures are you offering for your loved ones? What peace and comfort have you found in the midst of lonely, dark nights? I can hear my Grandma saying, “Put your trust in the Lord.”