Some of the best advice I ever received as a young wife and mother was gleaned in a wooden swing under two big shade trees on Highway 70.
Daddy and I would sit and visit for hours while watching his grandkids tirelessly pedal back and forth on the driveway in front of the homeplace. For a three-year-old with a new tricycle and a seven-year old on a bike without training wheels, it was an endless highway.
Oftentimes, I would ask open-ended questions knowing that a good personal story was sure to follow. Daddy had a big heart and the gift of empathy; his responses to life’s challenges were intriguing. Daddy loved people well, and his words and actions reflected the principles found in I Corinthians 13, “If I have faith that can move mountains but I do not have love, I am nothing.” With each story, his mantra was always the same, “Everything has a way of working out.”
I learned to trust in those words, but in the middle of a difficult situation, life could be hard. As a busy mom engrossed, not only in full time homemaking but also in church ministry, the respite under the shade trees was my safe place where I poured out my heart to Daddy and waited for instructions on how to best handle difficult circumstances. As I shared whatever was on my heart, he would whittle on sticks and listen intently, rarely responding until I was finished.
One afternoon as I drew my dilemma to a close and waited to hear his wisdom, Daddy gifted me with the finished product he had whittled, a wooden safety pin. As he placed it in my hands, he said, “Melindy, sometimes it is all we can do to keep it together.”
Yes, it is sometimes difficult to keep it together, but the cross reminds me that there is Power in the Blood and God’s Strength is Perfect. This Easter I have celebrated the joy that comes from the personal relationship I have in Jesus. I am drawing near with confidence to the throne of grace, that I may receive mercy and I may find grace to help me in times of need (Hebrews 4:16).