by Christina Rose
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:13-17 NIV
My grandma grew up in rural Pennsylvania near Amish country. She was raised by a strict Methodist family who were farmers and tobacco merchants. Grandma had big dreams to travel the world while her parents had hoped she would marry a local boy and stay on the farm.
Grandma won. She got her nursing degree and landed a job at the US Army Hospital in Panama. On a vacation to Costa Rica, she met my grandfather whom she married, but after having two kids, he fell ill and died. Grandma and my mother and her brother returned to the United States. She became the Captain of Nurses at Walter Reed General Hospital in Washington, DC.
Years later, I was about to leave for college in upstate New York, which typically experienced very cold winters. Grandma wanted to buy me a winter coat. We went from store to store, and I finally settled on a beautiful wool tan coat.
“Follow me,” she said. We went to a corner of the store, and she asked me to hold up the coat in front of her so no one would see her. I peeked around the coat to see her red-faced, snorting and struggling with her underclothes. “Grandma, what are you doing?” I asked.
She responded, “Just hold up that coat until I get my money out of my girdle.”
Being widowed at a young age and the sole provider, Grandma understood the necessity of protecting her valuables and loved ones. She knew she had to be extra vigilant as she was the only one guarding her family and their possessions.
Peter warned that we need to have that kind of spiritual diligence as well. There is an enemy who would like nothing better than to rob us of our trust in and joy of the Lord. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8 NIV).
Grandma wore more than a physical girdle. Every day she wore the spiritual gear that kept her ready when those attacks occurred. She donned the girdle of truth, which Satan despises and does everything in his power to distort. Her unfailing source of truth was the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Her spiritual bonnet was a helmet of salvation, which deterred any doubtful thoughts about her security with God. There was no need to earn His love. She was confident in the Lord.
Grandma’s life-lessons were like the warm winter coat she had bought for me many years earlier; her consistent example made me feel safe, protected, and loved. Her confidence and strength came from God alone.
“In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.” Proverbs 14:26 NIV
About the author: Christina Rose is an author, trainer and speaker certified by the John Maxwell Team of Leadership. She is a DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) whose ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. A devoted mom of two daughters and great aunt to over 40 nieces and nephews, Christina loves spending time in nature and hosting gatherings for family and friends.
Christina’s book, My Appeal to Heaven, is her story. Her marriage in shambles, Christina finds herself in a desperate situation with no resources other than herself. After appealing to heaven, the Lord takes her on a journey of awakening and miraculous empowerment. That power that is available to us all, especially those who are in need of hope and freedom.
Join the conversation: Who in your life is an example to you? What have they taught you?