I woke up this morning with a song in my heart and a memory. It was of my grandmother baking; flour dust flying, the kitchen in disarray, incredible smells emanating from her oven and a song rising from deep within her. “How marvelous! How wonderful! And my song shall ever be: how marvelous! how wonderful is my Savior’s love for me!”
Nana was born in 1906 in a company town in Upstate New York. Her father owned a gas station, was justice of the peace and drank too much. Home life was tumultuous; it was Nana who found her father after a failed suicide attempt. Life didn’t get any easier; she left high school and lied about her age to get into nursing school. She married my grandfather, a loving man, but with a quick temper. The two of them scraped by and raised three children during the Great Depression. They knew hardship in ways I have not, yet always managed to make it.
Nana struggled with depression, but somewhere along the way she found Jesus. He became her rock, her fortress. When troubles came (often followed by the “blues”), she clung tight to the cross and the promises of God. As she aged and her memory failed, her commitment to Christ did not. She continued to lean hard into God, no matter what life brought. At the very end of her life, she looked forward to meeting her Creator. And she never stopped praising God in song.
Nana, followed in the footsteps of David; despite hardship, emotional ups and downs, she found her way to praise God. As a child growing up, I was privileged to watch her worship God in her own way and it left a lasting impression on me. David celebrated for all he was worth as the Ark of the Covenant came to Jerusalem. He lead his people to worship the Lord who had been faithful to him and Israel. That day, David set an example of how “a man after God’s own heart” worships. It left such an impression, that thousands of years later, we have the privilege of reading about the celebration.
David and Nana have me asking myself questions. How do I worship God? More and more, I want a life that worships God the way he deserves. Who is watching? The beautiful thing about Nana was that she didn’t worship God to impress me; she just honestly and wholeheartedly worshipped God; that in itself left lasting impressions about the God she worshipped and helped lead me to him.