What to do on Hard Days

It’s what I sang over dishes.

Sang on the days when I felt too weary to take another step, clean up another mess, change another diaper.





It’s what I sing when the enemy attacks with lies, when I feel alone and scared, when I fear the future and whispers in the shadows.

It’s what my mother-in-law, a Dutch farmer’s wife and mother of nine, godly and with these big calloused work hands, said to do.

What she told me once hunched over this row of peas we were picking out in a June twilight:

“It’s what my mother said too, Ann: When it is hardest — that is when you sing the loudest. The devil flees at a hymn.”

At the last, when the cancer wound tighter, folks would ask how she was — and my father-in-law would say, “Good! She’s singing all the time.”

And we knew how hard it was — and how good she knew He is.

She sang this
and it’s what we sang to her at the last, all around the bed with hymn books open, and it is what I keep singing:

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Abandon the worries… and Abide in the Word.

Abandon the fears… and Abide in the Father.

Abandon the hurts… and Abide in His heart.

Abandon the cares… because Christ will never abandon you.

It’s what I self-preach again and again to the fearful sinner who is me: Abandon and Abide.

I run water for the next stack of dishes.

Take off my ring and watch, leave them there on the counter.

And immerse hands in water, the tap still running.

Everything, everywhere quietly humming….