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Lenten Meditation: A Grandfather’s Advice on Finding Strength and Courage in God

During the Spring of 2018, my dad left the hospital to receive hospice care at his home. One of the first things he did was to pick out the readings and songs for his celebration of life. After his death, my family planned out the service with his minister. My dad had previously talked to her and arranged everything, but the readings were a surprise to us.

For my brother, he chose:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

~2 Timothy 4:7

My sons were asked to read Psalm 23:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside still waters.

He restores my soul.

He leads me in paths of righteousness

for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil,

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies;

you anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

all the days of my life,

and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord


My dad asked me to read this passage:

We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did, and were destroyed by serpents. And do not complain as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the ages have come. So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.

~1 Corinthians 10:9-13

After reading the theme of taking courage, I was instantly reminded of my reading. You will not be tested beyond what you can do, and a way out will be provided. Knowing this gives me courage to complete tasks that are hard or a challenge to me. It will always remind me of my dad – encouraging me to do hard things.

I also like this prayer when I am looking for guidance on tasks:

A Collect for Guidance

Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

I hope these readings and prayer will help you along your journey this Lent.

~J. Atkins


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