7 The LORD is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart greatly rejoices,
And with my song I will praise Him.
Psalm 28:7 (NKJV)
By Bro. John L. Cash
I stayed with my mother this past week at the Memphis Jewish Home and Rehab in Cordova, Tennessee. She’ll probably be there awhile longer, but I’m back home in Mississippi. I’ve had a fantastic week spending time with her. I’ve had a wonderful time just being in the hospital, too; it’s a lovely place, full of fresh air, sunlight, compassion, and joy. I’ve learned so much there about Judaism, beauty, health, and happiness. I’m sure I’ll be telling you more about it over the next few weeks.
I read a quote this week that was life-changing for me. On Tuesday, I stuck my head in a doorway to see what was going on in the “Life Enrichment Center” at the Rehab. There were about a dozen elderly residents in the room, and they were all busy, making the most of the morning. Some were visiting with each other or watching “Good Morning America” as they awaited their turn, but most were busy pedaling exercise bikes, lifting hand-weights, or pulling ropes attached to pulleys. In the back of the room was a sign with this quote:
“Rebuild your health.
It never gets any easier.
You just get stronger each day.”
Those fourteen words spoke volumes to me. You see, for some reason I’ve always been waiting for the time when things would slow down and life would get easier. Maybe the magical time would be when the boys got out of diapers and I was able to stop buying that expensive baby formula. Maybe it would be when they were no longer playing Little League and they no longer needed help with homework.
Maybe the perfect time would come when I retired from teaching and just had one job to do. The circumstances that I thought would usher in the season of rest and leisure were always changing in my mind. Anytime I got close it it, the “finish line” always moved a little farther away. But one thought always remained clear: “When the future gets here, things will finally be easier.”
But seeing the poster (and all those older folks hard at work) this week gave me a profound realization. Things are never going to get easier for me. Life is always going to busy and tiring. But I’ve just realized that life will seem easier if I choose to get stronger.
It’s great to know that beginning this very minute I can start to make decisions that lead to health and strength. I can begin to do things that will make my body, mind, soul, and spirit as healthy as they can possibly be.
It’s never going to get easier. But with God’s help, we will get stronger.
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 31 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (Until recently he had a desk-job at a public school, where he used to teach Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the preacher ate Kosher food for all his meals last week.) Their kids include Spencer (age 26), his wife Madeline (age 26), and Seth (age 22), and his wife Leanne (age 21). You can send him a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.