As my eyes were closed, just in the beginning stages of awakening today....I could hear in my spirit her sweet sweet voice as it cracked. I could see the straight pins in her collar where she kept them while she sewed clothes for homeless children. I saw the precious face of my Grandma....and as she rocked in her rocking chair, sewing away, and singing....the melody rang out and it was oh so beautiful.
On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suff’ring and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain:
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.
I always could tell this song came straight from her soul. I would always watch my Grandma as she hummed and sang this song....wondering what it was about that song that meant so much to her. She never could make it to the end without tears streaming down her face.
As I awakened this morning I felt covered with such a peaceful presence. That peaceful presence that has carried me everyday through some really tough stuff this year. The peace that was there when I saw my Mom sufferering through cancer...the peace that was there when my health failed and I had to trust with everything in me that He knew what He was doing and had a beautiful plan....the peace that is there when I see my friends hurting so deeply and I can’t fix it....but He can. The peace that is there when the enemy comes at my children and I am helpless...and in complete surrender....to trust Him with their lives. (Oh how hard that is sometimes.....) but then His peace comes...and I know I can do it. The peace that carries me when I just cannot take one more step.
It was then that I realized that my Grandma, through the many trials in her life, and all she endured....never waivered in her passion for her Savior. She knew this peace...she heard His voice, and His presence lived within her every day of her life. Not only did she believe the words to that song....it was her life.
I remember the day that the song “Jesus Loves Me” really soaked in. I mean REALLY soaked in. He loves ME! And the love I felt washed over my soul. I can never sing that song now without crying. Although I had heard it a million times....this one day....it changed my life. Well today....the “Old Rugged Cross” has had the same effect. As I heard the serenade from heaven....my Grandma’s sweet voice.....I realized that old rugged cross meant more to me than ever. Because He died for me on that cross, because of this day....I made it with Him through it all this year. His presence was there because of that old rugged cross. I cannot even fathom what Jesus went through...it has taken on a whole new meaning for me this year. Somehow, I know my Grandma knew all along....I would one day be right where she was, and I would walk out one of the hardest years of my life....right by His side. And I would be singing this song under my breath. And just as she did.....I would be wiping the tears when I was done. It would come straight from my soul just as it came from hers.
In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see,
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.
To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.