Eliza and me and Isaiah 43

  Sometimes when I walk these roads, I wonder what the women before me were thinking as they walked this avenue of oaks. 

I pretend for a moment that I’m Eliza Lucas Pinckney, who lived in the 1700s and managed several plantations after her husband died of malaria. 

Eliza was a very enterprising woman, changing agriculture in SC by introducing indigo crops. But she was also raising 3 incredible children who would each have impact in their worlds. I know she considered this role most important, from letters in her biography. 

“to make a good wife to my dear Husband in all its several branches; to make all my actions Correspond with that sincere love and Duty I bear him… I am resolved to be a good mother to my children, to pray for them, to set them good examples, to give them good advice, to be careful both of their souls and bodies, to watch over their tender minds.”

So as I amble through these mighty oaks, I wonder which scriptures were dear to Eliza. That is the most beautiful thing about God’s Word.  It never changes. 

My circumstances and life are so very different from Eliza’s. She didn’t have the threat of terrorists to pray through.  But she lived through wars and savage times. She didn’t have to fast from social media, but she had to have enough candlelight (and energy) to pen her letters and journals at night. She didn’t have traffic jams and drop off lines, but she probably had weary bones from traveling on horseback. 

So as I hear the wind whisper through these oaks, I can almost hear Eliza reciting Isaiah 43 in the same way that promise brings me strength:

“But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. ”. ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭43:1-3‬ ‭NLT‬‬

And I can hear God whispering back to her: “Well done, Eliza.  Good and faithful servant.”

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