It was a sacred place, being with Mother in her bedroom the morning she died. She had such a flair for decorating which meant we were in a place with beautiful surroundings in the physical realm as well as the spiritual realm. God was present. That was 6 years ago. I’d been with her and Daddy for three weeks. Sleep for me had been restless. Each morning I woke up before 6:00 and quietly went into her room to see if she was still breathing. Hospice had been telling us we didn’t have long with her for the last 14 days.
That morning, October 23, 2014, I sat in the chair beside her and read “my” Psalm for the day. It was Psalm 119. That morning I decided to read the entire Psalm out loud to her. Her eyes were closed but I know her spirit was alive and that she was getting closer and closer to seeing Jesus. I stood and walked around the room, reading the Psalm and praying out loud when something from the Word caught my attention that I believed warranted prayer.
This Psalm is full of affirmations about the Word of God and living according to it. I prayed for all of Mother’s family, even the ones not yet born; asking God’s protection over them, and salvation for them. In prayer, I expressed my longing that all those current and future little ones would read, love, and live according to the principles of God’s Word. Psalm 119 has a lot to say about the Word of God.
A way I honor and remember Mother on the anniversary of her death is by the yearly tradition of reading Psalm 119, again, in its entirety, knowing there will be certain words or phrases that shimmer. The word that stands out to me this year is “afflicted.” We all know what it’s like to be afflicted. We’ve all had a lot of it this year. What do we do when afflicted? This Psalm guides us in knowing what to do.
- We open our eyes and contemplate the wonders of our great and mighty God.
- We offer prayers of thanksgiving and praise throughout the day, even at midnight if we are awake. We can always find things to be grateful for even in affliction.
- We cry out to God for help. He shows up.
- We hope in the One who is our shelter and shield.
- We trust in the only One who gives salvation along with all that is needed that sustains us when afflicted.
- We trust in the One who instructs us in the way to live. Meditating on His ways takes us to deeper places of understanding when we want to give up on life.
- We go through the wall of affliction knowing that it draws us closer to God, takes us spiritually deeper, and gives us a greater desire to walk in the way of right living that God commands.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, always in prayer. Romans 12:8