The old country church

I invite you to read our final August Summer Friends Son-Shine post by my friend Shari.

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By Shari Miller

My grandmother’s hymnal sits on my piano with its pages tattered and worn. I carefully thumb through the pages and imagine the hymns that were sung so long ago, in another place and another time.

The year was 1940, the church was white with a steeple that tried to reach out and touch heaven’s glory. The men, women, and children filed into the church, men on one side, women on the other. They were tired and worn, from a hard weeks work in the dusty wheat fields of Kansas. Even though times where hard, they had a hope that kept them going, a hope in their precious Savior Jesus Christ. At the top of their lungs they sang the old familiar hymn that rang loud and clear as its melody wafted through the prairie grasses…..

“My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand, All other ground is sinking sand.”

My hope was in Jesus was born in that old country church.

The legacy that was left by my grandparents, and parents, gave me a solid foundation to build on. A foundation mixed with blood, sweat, and tears, and a love for the Lord that would stand the test of time no matter what the circumstances.

And the circumstances of life ….oh how they can turn into storms that pound their waves hard against the rocky shores of our hearts.

I have personally gone through many a storm. The death of my father, the loss of a child, financial hardships, a breast cancer diagnosis, a stage IV breast cancer diagnosis, a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s for my dear mother, and a Chron’s diagnosis for my husband.

Through it all I have learned one thing. There will be trials that come through our lives that will either make us or break us, and the difference between them is our hope in Jesus Christ.

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12 (NIV)

Hope in Christ brings us an assurance that in the end, all will be well.

Though tribulations happen on earth, they are only momentary. Depending on our choices during these difficult times, the afflictions we face can be used to bring us into a deeper, more meaningful relationship with Jesus because of the hope we have in him.

As I looked at the examples of others in my past, I was able to make a clear decision and receive Christ as my Lord and Savior. When I did this he so graciously gave me the hope that he freely offers. Hope in eternal life, hope in his goodness, hope in his grace, hope that he loves me more that I could imagine. He also offers me a hope that he will never leave me alone no matter what trials may come my way.

Joni Eareckson Tada once said, “The best we can hope for in this life is a knothole peek at the shinning realities ahead. Yet a glimpse is enough. It’s enough to convince our hearts that whatever sufferings and sorrows currently assail us aren’t worthy of comparison to that which waits over the horizon.”

What waits over the horizon for me is the hope I have in my Savior and the eternal life in heaven that he has promised me.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans, to give you hope and a future” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

My hope in Christ means everything to me. It gives me the strength to wake up each day, praising God’s name, knowing that all things will work out for my good, if I walk the road he has placed before me.

Friends, no matter what you’re going through there is always hope. It’s the same type of hope shared by my parents and grandparents in that old country church so long ago. I’m not talking about a hope in fleeting things that will fade away, but hope in a risen Savior Jesus Christ. A hope filled with wonderful things he has planned for our lives.

He is willing to offer this hope for each one of us, all we need to do is take the first step and walk into his waiting arms.

Shari A. Miller Bio PictureShari and her husband, Bill, have been married for 21 years and have two children who are their precious gifts from God. She is a housewife, mother, and writer. Her favorite things to do are, study God’s word, and be at home taking care of her family. Shari is also a stage IV breast cancer survivor who lives each day striving to give God the glory for all that He has done in her life. You can find Shari blogging about leaving a Godly legacy, hope, and encouragement in Jesus, and her life’s journey at, Shari A. Miller, Living to Leave a Legacy.

11 Responses to The old country church

  1. Shari, thank you for sharing your heart and your story with us. God’s hand is with you and your family and I am praying for you.

    I love when you said: “My hope in Christ means everything to me. It gives me the strength to wake up each day, praising God’s name, knowing that all things will work out for my good, if I walk the road he has placed before me.”

    That says it all for me!

    Love you friend

  2. I remember a similar church where my family attended in the 1950’s. It has since been torn down but the memories are still in my head. But the faith of my grandparents lives on in my heart. I didn’t inherit it from them. I received Jesus personally in my heart. But they were such good examples of living by faith. That has helped me when I’ve gone through my own struggles in life. I have faith and hope. He gives me the strength to get through each day.

    Thank you for sharing this precious post. I loved the encouragement.

    Blessings and love,
    Debbie

  3. Shari, I grew up going to church with my grandparents. My grandfather was a bi-vocational pastor and preached in a tiny little church just like the one you described. My roots go back to the foundation sat within those walls. I am thankful for the hope God placed within me during those times; A hope that’s carried me through many storms. Thank you for sharing your journey and taking me back to a very special time.
    Praying for you and yours,
    andrea

  4. Your testimony is very much like my own! My faith in God was instilled by my parents and grandparents who served and loved God’s word with every part of their souls. I accepted Jesus as my savior at age seven…I knew even then He was the foundation for my life. My husband is now home on hospice after deciding he is ready to meet Jesus soon. My heart aches at the thought of him going to heaven, and yet rejoices in the knowledge he will be forever healed and with God. Cancer may consume his body, but never his soul! God bless you and keep you through all you are facing. A sister in Christ, Renee’.

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