Amish Devotional – You’re Never Alone
Photo Credit: Jim Fisher
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
Mary Bricker sat at the table, running her fingertip over the words she read. What was God trying to tell her? Why had the words suddenly worked their way into her mind so abruptly?
The sun was still an hour away from making its way above the horizon, but sleep escaped her as she wrestled with an overwhelming sense of dread. It’d been weeks since her husband of forty-nine years died in his sleep, leaving her alone in the big farmhouse they called home. How was she ever going to take care of this farm by herself and at her age? The overwhelming pressure left her feeling hopeless.
Her Old-Order Amish community made sure someone stopped to check on her every day for the last three weeks. However, regardless of how many stopped by, she felt alone and fearful of what the future would bring.
Reaching for her cane, she rubbed the ache in her hip as she made her way to the sink. Pulling the light blue pleated curtain away from the window, she tried to read the temperature gauge attached to the outer pane. Still too dark to make it visible, she leaned on the counter and pushed the window open. The rain had stopped, and she was surprised when a warm spring breeze floated into the room.
Greeted with the smell of rain and the sweet sounds of chirping birds, she couldn’t help but feel a sense of hope with the start of a new day. Mornings were Jeremiah’s favorite part of the day, and he often took his first cup of coffee to the porch to watch the sunrise. It didn’t matter if it rained or snowed, he greeted each day with the same enthusiasm as the last.
Perhaps she needed to see the world through Jeremiah’s eyes, if only for a moment. Wrapping her shawl around her shoulders, she pushed the screen open, greeted with its familiar squeak. Taking care not to let it slam, she softly shut it hoping her presence wouldn’t chase the birds away that were perched in the trees around the porch.
Finding her way to Jeremiah’s hickory bent rocker, she settled into its well-worn seat, covered her knees with the handmade quilt from the back of the chair and placed her hands on the arms. Closing her eyes, she tried to feel his presence in the comfort of his chair. Alone in the dark with only the sounds of a few morning birds singing a lullaby, she heard a small voice from somewhere deep inside say.
“You’re not alone, I’m here and always will be. Haven’t I always taken care of you? There is no reason to be fearful. Have faith my child I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
When she opened her eyes, the first sign of the new day had started to make its way above the horizon. The soft pink and blue hue brought a tear to her eye, as she marveled at its beauty. No matter what the day brought, she knew God is always in control. Could this be what Jeremiah saw every morning as he watched the sunrise? Was it the reason that no matter what obstacle they crossed, his faith was strong enough to weather the storm?
Pushing the chair in motion, she remembered the words her Bishop had spoken to her the day before. “God commands us to put our trust in Him, even when the world around us tells us differently. He is in control even if we can’t see it. He is working in our lives if we just let Him. If God says it, that settles it, and there’s no reason to doubt it.”
The dread that had crept into her mind in those early morning hours had suddenly been replaced with a warmth that could only be explained as God’s loving arms surrounding her. The words that could only be from God filled her mind as she watched a small flock of barn swallows peck at the seeds in the birdfeeder.
Closing her eyes once again, she prayed. “Heavenly Father, please forgive me for not putting my trust in you. I know you are in control, and whatever this day brings, may I be reminded that you are beside me every step of the way. I lay my worries at your feet. You know what my needs are, and I trust that you fill them in your own time. Amen”
Looking over at the stack of mail, her friend Ruth had carried up from the mailbox the day before, she fingered through the pile and stopped at a letter with a familiar Sugarcreek return address. Recognizing the handwriting of her favorite grandson Eli, she was anxious to read what he had to say.
I hope this finds you well, and you’re enjoying the spring weather. I read in the paper just this morning that the Northeast will be experiencing above springtime temperatures all week, and that includes you in Willow Springs.
I’m sorry I couldn’t make it to Doddi’s funeral. I’m sure Datt explained I was in Wisconsin and couldn’t get back in time. After discussing it with Datt and Mamm, I have decided to move to Willow Springs to help you with the farm. Datt says you’re not ready to move to Ohio, so the next best thing is for one of us to come to you.
You can expect me on Friday.
Holding the letter to her chest, she closed her eyes and whispered. “Why did I ever doubt you, Lord? You always have and always will take care of me. Thank You.”