Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Take Up Thy Cross"1 (Lyrics)
Luke 8:54 – Then Jesus took her by the hand and said in a loud voice, "My child, get up!" (NLT)
The following is my friend Joyce Augustson's story.
- I felt hopeless and alone in 1940s Arkansas, and I wasn't close to my mother. We weren't the poorest of poor, but many of the children I knew didn't have shoes and wore rags for clothing. I could identify with the "negro" children, as people called African Americans then, because I was treated much the same way. I knew right from wrong, and my heart was pained for the children who were mistreated, bullied, and not accepted. I was shy and withdrawn, and I guess I took the treatment because I thought I deserved it.
My aunt "Chester", whose real name was Ella, was very kind to me. I had always felt good with Chester, who wore her big-brimmed bonnet tied in a bow underneath her chin. She made me healthy food to eat. I especially loved her custard pudding, and I would say, "Custard, Chester," and she would bring out a dish of her special recipe for me. She read her Bible every day, and as I recall, she was the one who taught me about Jesus. Then, when I was twelve, for some reason, Mom forbade me to see her any more. My heart was broken.
I didn't understand who Jesus was then, but I'd learned enough from Chester that I imagined Him holding my hand. That comforted me. Wherever I went, I believed that Jesus was walking beside me. I began to trust Jesus more and accepted Him as my Saviour. Like me, we can all trust Jesus as our comforter and our strength.
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, thank You for the Aunt Chesters in the world who touch our hearts. In our loneliness and despair, Jesus, take us by the hand, and say, "My child, get up!" Thank You that You are always with us so that we never have to feel alone. Amen.
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Thank you for sharing this touching devotional. Blessings.
A precious and wonderful application of that Bible verse!
Thank you for sharing Joyce’s story.
I hope Joyce reconnected with her Aunt.
She sounds like such a lovely person.
Beautiful devotional, thank you. It is so comforting knowing Jesus is with us…always!
Dear Karen Milam.
Thank you for passing this experience on to us. I can identify with parts of it.
Keep writing and increasing in trusting. For Jesus’ sake.
Yes, Karen, the Lord delights in holding hands. It is such a comfort knowing that Jesus walks with us.
Enjoy the journey!
What a wonderful story, one that many people can relate to I’m sure.
Thank you for writing this about your friend.
Thank you for this bittersweet story that rings so unfortunately true for many of us. I pray your friend Joyce is happy and is still being continually blessed by His Spirit.
Good morning, Karen.
All I can say is ‘Thank God for Chester’. My heart felt your friend’s childhood distress, but thankfully she had someone to lift her spirit to a better place.
Thank you for writing this beautiful message,
Thank you for sharing the inspiring and comforting story of your friend Joyce. What a blessing her Aunt was in her life. May we be a beacon of the Lord’s love and care to others that are alone and hurting.
Thank you. Your story today brought back memories how I would walk to school at age 5 to attend kindergarten afternoon class. The school was far, and I walked alone.
All the while walking to and from school I would repeat over and over “The Lord is with me” so I know how true it is that the Lord does indeed “hold our hand” and He’s been with me, still holding my hand, decades later! Bless His Holy Name.
Thank you for Joyce’s story! God is so faithful to water the seeds sown into our lives as children, even when we don’t fully understand it all.
I volunteer as a chaplain at our local correctional facility in Canada. I would like to hand out that devotional to some of the inmates. I will delete Joyce’s name, and yours.
Have a wonderful day with Him holding your hand!
Thank you for the lovely devotional. I am sure Jesus was holding your friend’s hand. I have felt that throughout my life. I was not one of the most popular girls in my community.
I loved my Sunday School days and the lessons learned stuck with me and helped me in many a crisis as I grew older. I think he held my hand too.
How wonderful that your friend had a favourite Aunt to turn to as well as Jesus.
Thank you for reminding me that he is still holding my hand.
Thanks for the encouraging words, Karen.
What a moving story! Did you ever find out why mother did not want you to see your aunt?
Sometimes adults project their problems unto the children.