Psalm 125: 1 – 2
Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be shaken but endures forever.
2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the Lord surrounds his people
both now and forevermore.
Strange that I had not thought about my late Great Aunt Jo for many years. She was a redoubtable and formidable lady, very slight of build but that concealed an inner strength that bore her up through several tragedies in her life. Her fiancé became one those who did not return from World War One. Later she married my mother’s uncle who had been wounded in that War. Uncle Bob, her husband, served again in the Second War in the Fire service and was severely injured in an air raid on Leith Docks. So bad were his injuries they were among the first to be given residency in the Thistle Foundation in Craigmillar, Edinburgh. In those less enlightened times when Bob died in about 1960 Jo was required to move out, and she spent the last thirty odd years of her life living in various flats around Edinburgh. Through all of this she had a faith that could withstand all and come through the other side stronger and more determined.
I don’t know what it was that made me think yesterday of her flat in Liberton, which had on the wall a framed photo of Jerusalem and this text printed on it.
Perhaps it was Saturday’s earthquake and Comrie surrounded by hills, shaken but enduring for, we hope, ever.
But to Jo I know it was Vs 2 that bore the message she lived her life by, that the love of God which surrounds us all is as sure and as immovable as the mountains surrounding Jerusalem. Just as they will never fade or fail so the love of God will not.
That love bore Jo up in her life with all its misadventures. It will bear us up through our present difficulties too, and lead us to the wonderful days yet to come.
Lord God our loving Father, thank you that you protect us, that your love is a sure and certain fortress not where we can hide from the difficulties of life but from where we may gain the strength to face them. Walk with us as we dare to peer out and see life beyond lockdown.
In your Mercy hear our prayer,
PS I have for brevity called Great Aunt Jo just by her name but believe me I would never have dared do that to her face in life, she was definitely an Aunt not and Auntie! As well as her strong faith, she also believed children should be seen and not heard, and I remember spending many a Sunday afternoon scarcely saying a word as she and my parents chatted away. Fortunately she was a great conversationalist and storyteller so those afternoons were not too bad!