There are few love stories like that of my grandparents. To read the notes left behind in his senior yearbook, you get the idea that my Grandpa was something of a ladies man—handsome, athletic, funny, and more than a little mischievous. But the summer after his senior year, he met Ruth Lunsford—and everything changed. He had found his love, and he never looked back.
Their 65 years together probably wouldn’t have made a good movie, and it certainly wouldn’t have been a bestselling book. It was anything but spectacular—just life—babies and bills. Working two jobs to make ends meet. Planting gardens and canning veggies.
But what makes their love so memorable to me is the act of remaining. They simply stayed—through good years and bad, when it was convenient and when it wasn’t, as they watched their children marry and as they buried another. Nothing else conveyed their true love more concretely than that of choosing to remain. And nothing calms our fears quite the same way.
We’ve all been fearful this last year. We’ve been afraid for our country, afraid for our health, afraid of our future. I’ve been nervous for my children, scared of growing older, anxious for dreams that may never come to pass. How do we fight these fears? How do we silence the dread that wells up in our chest and hangs in the back of our throat? By reminding ourselves that He remains. By preaching to ourselves as did the psalmists:
“But You, O LORD, are a shield about me,
my glory, and the lifter of my head.
I cried aloud to the LORD,
and He answered me from His holy hill. Selah.
I lay down and slept;
I woke again, for the LORD sustained me.” Psalm 3:3-5
“And those who know Your name put their trust in You,
for You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.” Psalm 9:10
“Blessed be the LORD!
For He has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.
The LORD is my strength and my shield;
in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him.
The LORD is the strength of His people;
He is the saving refuge of His anointed.” Psalm 28:6-8
“Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him,
on those who hope in His steadfast love,
that He may deliver their soul from death
and keep them alive in famine…
Let Your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us,
even as we hope in You.” Psalm 33:18-19, 22
Steadfast. Sustaining. Delivering. Always hearing, never forsaking. The God who created everything, the One who sovereignly sustains it all, shows us His great love everyday by remaining, by staying with us. In every quiet moment of every ordinary day—as we fold the laundry or pay the bills—He is here. And on the days when our hearts are breaking or the fears are threatening to swallow us whole…He still is here.
We can’t know what this next year will hold for us, but may we know with surety that He remains and that He is faithful. And may that be enough.