Harold and Dorraine Woessner

Recently I was given a gift, an old red leather Bible that belonged to my grandmother. Embossed on the cover were the words, “In Memory of Tammy Jo.” Tammy Jo was the youngest of my grandparents’ four children and they had lost her suddenly and unexpectedly to spinal meningitis in 1963, when she was just two years old.

As I received the gift I opened it to a bookmark, a laminated obituary for the aunt I never knew, and I read the words of Jesus Christ that my grandmother had circled with ink so many years ago, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Mark 10:14). My heart sank as I imagined my grandmother’s pain. At that moment I felt as if I had been given a glimpse into the worst experience of her life, the darkest storm she had ever been asked to weather. I skimmed the rest of the Bible, looking for additional passages that she might have circled. I found only one, Psalm 28:7, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.”

As I held my grandmother’s Bible, I pondered the Psalm she had circled. How could her heart leap for joy? How could her mouth sing a song of praise? It seemed odd to find this Psalm circled, but then it hit me: in the midst of the storm she understood the significance of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Though her heart was broken and filled with pain, her hope held secure in the One whose voice could calm the storm.

Is your hope secure? Will it last when the wind blows and the waves rage against you? Trust in Christ! Call on his name, and he will see you through the storm.

Rev. Troy Tysdal is the Director of Communication and Prayer for the Church of the Lutheran Brethren.

Joy Alone
Love Divine, All Loves Excelling