An Old Photograph

Thursday, February 25, 2016
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Listen while you read: "Let Us With A Gladsome Mind"1 (Lyrics)

Romans 12:12 – Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (NIV)

I'm looking at an old photograph on my church desk. It's a picture of my mom in her early twenties. She has black, raven-coloured hair, large, beautiful eyes, and a lovely smile. She's wearing pearl earrings as well as a decorative Isle of Man brooch on her jacket collar. I think that the photograph may have been taken on her honeymoon with my dad, because they went to the Isle of Man after their wedding.

My mom looks young and beautiful, happy and joyful. She's just married the man she loves, and both of them are on the threshold of a lifetime together. She has no idea of the hardships yet to come, but her face looks bright and hopeful. The years ahead will be bleak at times, and our whole family will be scarred emotionally and mentally, but we will survive and become supportive of one another, even though we're scattered and separated by thousands of miles.

The photograph reminds me that my mom was once young and strong, filled with hope, and happy to be in love. That memory consoles me and takes away most of the pain and bitterness that I have carried for far too long. I know that my brothers and sisters, whom I dearly love, feel the same way.

Despite her illnesses and deep depression, my mom never lost her faith. She still prayed to God in her lucid moments and clung to her beliefs. This also comforts me, because as I get nearer to the completion of my own life, I know that I shall see her again, just looking like she is in the photograph. This is what Christ has given us — a hope that perseveres and a love that never ends.

Questions for personal reflection: Is there someone in my life that I look forward to seeing in God's kingdom? How does that hope affect my faith and relationships today?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the faith that You have given us and for the hopes that we share. We look forward to the day when we shall be with You in Your kingdom and be reunited with all of our faithful loved ones. In Your holy name, we gratefully pray. Amen.

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About the author:

John Stuart <>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    I’m there with you John.

    Thank you John for this and all your Devotionals.

    Rev. John, Thanks for sharing this devotional with us. Yes, we shall see our loved ones again in God’s time. Blessings.

    Thanks for the great message and wonderful reminder of love and hope Moms are special!
    God Bless your day and your memories.

    John, I loved your reflection on the photograph of your mother. I look forward to the day when I will see my loved ones again; this thought should propel us to share the love of Jesus to others so they can have the same hope of eternal life with Him and their loved ones.
    God bless.

    John, your devotionals always impart hope to us who struggle each day in our own way; be it family problems, health, whatever. You know how life can be difficult at times, but we can cling to God’s promises to never forsake us. As soon as I begin to read the devotional, I see your hand in it. Thank you for such practical insight and may God continue to uphold you and your family.

    Hi John
    Your message touched me as you could have been talking about our family — so many similarities!
    Having just undergone eye surgery, I have felt the presence of my Lord throughout this ordeal and give thanks. I have new respect and admiration for people who are visually impaired.
    My father was declared legally blind for so many years that I regret I was not more sensitive to the challenges he faced and his cheerful manner of coping with the difficulties.
    I always appreciate and enjoy your devotionals. Thank you for writing and sharing them.

    Good Morning, John,
    Your comments about your mother always, of course, remind me of my mother. She did not, however, carry the emotional burden of your Mom. Her photograph sits by the computer where I can see it often and like a lot of folks I am reminded how blessed I was to have her as my mother.
    Also, think you and your siblings are blessed to be able “to get over it,” whatever “it” may be. I have always thought I did a good job with that until something really blindsided me. I find that I have to pray for the ability too MOVE ON.
    Thanks, John, as always for your thoughtful devotionals.

    Good Morning Rev. Stuart:
    An amazing message that brought tears to my eyes and a longing for the pleasure of seeing my beloved parents once again. It is amazing how we, who were once so youthful, strong, happy and joyful loose our stately image as we grow older.
    But, praise God, we who become older, wrinkled and somewhat out of shape are still blessed with the assurance we are beautiful in the sight of our Lord who has fashioned us according to His will. He is the potter, we clay the clay…
    You are such an example of a “fine son who loved his mother dearly, through her illness.
    You will see your mother again someday and the radiance that will be present on her face when she sees you will be unimaginable to mortal man.
    God bless you Rev. Stuart, you appear to be a fine man of the cloth.

    Hi John,
    Indeed we all suffer through the ravages of time, but we come THROUGH because of our loving Lord’s compassion and mercy. I look forward to the Rapture which may well come even before I go to be with Jesus in my heavenly Home.
    Bless you.


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