by Nan Jones

Sunbeams streamed through the sanctuary windows while friendly chatter filled the room. I found my seat on the first pew, anticipating the beginning of our worship service.

Movement seen through the glass panes of the side door caught my attention. Slowly the door opened.  Bent over from years of toil, supported by a cane in one hand and her daughter on the other, the elderly woman shuffled into the house of the Lord. Her smile creased the wrinkles around her twinkling eyes that emitted the glorious reflection of Jesus.

Miss Mattie*. Ninety-three years young. Amazing woman of God.

Miss Mattie has attended this small mountain church for eighty years. Her years of service are marked by lives touched, hearts warmed, and the love of a Savior glorified. Just four days earlier she suffered a light stroke. The strokes have been coming more frequently lately. She felt weak Sunday morning – still not quite right.

But she prayed. Miss Mattie asked the Lord for strength to go to worship.

And He answered.

A divine light shone in my heart. I felt ashamed. I thought of how many times I wanted to stay in bed on a Sunday morning. I thought of how many times I needed an attitude adjustment when I just wanted to stay home and rest and basically do nothing. I thought of how many times I wanted to give up on “church” because it had been such a source of hurt for me over the years.

I thought a lot.

And I prayed.

Lord, forgive me for my complacency and my selfishness. Forgive me for letting Satan destroy my joy of coming to Your sanctuary to join in corporate worship of You. You clearly tell us that we need each other – to not forsake the assembling together of one another in Your Name. Thank You for Miss Mattie’s example of faithfulness. Thank You for her life. Her love. Her joy. And thank You for Your mercy in teaching me today. I ask that You give me the wings of eagles to rise above the fatigue that seemingly multiplies on Sundays. I ask that You strengthen me to lift up my shield of faith to ward off the fiery darts of the enemy that tempts me to surrender to selfish thoughts. I ask that You make me more like Miss Mattie.

I raised my head, my heart cleansed by the mercy of God, refreshed by His loving touch.

Thank you Miss Mattie for your testament of faithfulness.

“I have been young, and now am old; 
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, 
Nor his descendants begging bread. 
He is ever merciful, and lends; 
And his descendants are blessed.” 
~ Psalm 37:25-26

If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory page to listen to a beautiful song by Steve Green, “Find Us Faithful.” This version is sung by a choir. It’s beautiful!