The Secret of Life in 3 Words

I woke up Easter morning looking up at the sky and basking in the glorious sun {Son}. Hallelujah. I went to bed that evening drenched in tears of grief. No. God. No.

I realize that’s not the most uplifting way to start a post. But it’s the truth.

The phone call came at 9pm. Paul was killed. My dear friend’s precious boy, just 20-years-old, was struck down by a hit and run driver as he and a couple of buddies crossed the street early Easter morning.

Inconceivable. A crushing loss.

Three days later – more bad news. This time striking my own little nest. A cruel illness had returned with a vengeance.

I was heartbroken.

So I muddled along for a couple of days, looking down at my feet – and feeling more than a little discontented with the ways of God.

But day after day a small Peanuts plaque I keep on my bookshelf caught my eye. I bought it a few years back as a memory link for Colossians 3:2, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”

The Secret of Life

Snoopy and Woodstock have come to my rescue on many a dry day – reminding me to Keep Looking Up; pointing me to my heavenly Hope and Home. The stuff that really matters.

But frankly, in my sadness, the “secret of life” brought little consolation. I was here – on earth, alongside my suffering loved ones. Powerless to relieve their pain. Wishing I could carry it myself.

My prayers felt flimsy. My mind was at a loss, like someone had put a big magnet on my Scripture memory hard drive. I was knee deep in the mire.

Can you relate?

My husband and I returned home from Paul’s funeral to an empty fridge and bare cupboards {I find no therapeutic value in grocery shopping}. So my hubby went to the store.

And then the loveliest thing happened. 

While waiting at the deli counter, my hubby struck up a conversation with the new deli worker, Jacqueline. He referenced a passage in Psalms {cause he just does that sort of thing}. And then…

…she responded by reciting Psalm 121. All eight verses. From memory. They flowed from her lips effortlessly, without a pause.

My hubby was stunned and moved, nearly forgetting our ham and cheese in his rush home to tell me about it.

And when he did, I searched the Psalm on Bible Gateway and there it was.

Ah, soul food. 

Just what I needed.

Click on image to download 8x10 printable

Click on image to download 8×10 printable

Only God could orchestrate a dear deli gal {I’ve never met} to nourish my spirit with a transcendent Psalm of promise – cheesy mashed potatoes for my soul.

He was holding me. And even better, He was holding the ones I love.

And so, in the valley of the shadow of death and disease and distress, our Heavenly Father lifted my chin to look up…into His kind face.

That, my friend, is the beauty and power of Scripture memory!

And now I’m memorizing Psalm 121. Would you like to join me?

Today, I still carry a sadness. Perhaps you do too.

There is a persistent brokenness this side heaven. Rust and dust. Irritabilities. Loss. Turmoil. Dullness. They take their toll, don’t they?

But here’s the thing:
When we get to heaven and have a little look around, I’m sure at some point we’ll throw our heads back and sigh,

“AAUGH!” Why did I make so much of the trials and trifles on earth?

I think our Lord is too gracious to say, “I told you so.”

We’re on the wrong side of heaven for now. But today, lets look up – together. And spend awhile staring at the radiant Son.

Because that’s where we’ll find our
Hope.
Home.
and Help.

To you I lift up my eyes,
O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
Psalm 123:1

So let’s keep looking up. Because that really is the secret of life.

Do you have a favorite soul food Scripture for hard days? Leave a comment.

Click here for the 8×10 printable of Psalm 121.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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6 thoughts on “The Secret of Life in 3 Words

  1. Who would have thought a trip to the deli would bring such encouragement and hope… just proves again you never know how much your OWN work at memorizing could really bless someone.

    Thank you for the printable – what a wonderful passage to commit to memory!

    • So true! I’ve gone back to the deli a couple of times to try to meet Jacqueline, but I’ve missed her. I want to tell her how much her memorized Psalm fed my soul. And then I want to quote it back to her. 🙂

  2. This was EXACTLY what I needed to wake up and read this morning. Thank you for reminding me to look up! I hadn’t thought of this scripture in many years, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help,” but I certainly needed to. I have printed your printable. I think I will learn the rest of the Psalm:)

  3. What a powerful reminder that our hope is in Him. That He gives us hope beyond what we can see or feel. Thank you Caroline for sharing from the heart. I’m looking UP!