Not only was I born a preacher’s kid, but both grandfathers were pastors. Also, my great-grandmother, Pearl Goude, known affectionately as Granny Goude, was a trailblazing evangelist in her early years. I can still see her fuzzy auburn hair, friendly eyes, and welcoming smile. Inside was a strong personality, fired by a deep love for Jesus and other people. When I knew her, she ran a tayloring business out of her house in Charleston, SC. While working to pay the bills, she never stopped serving Jesus. If you got close she would ask about your life and tell you the good news. She was always generous, giving her money away to help others in need.
When she came to visit us, she had a large black purse, about the size of a backpack. Inside she carried a large, well-worn Bible and a container of Planters Peanuts. As kids, she gave us quarters for quoting the books of the Bible or a memory verse.
There were times when granny opened the screen door of her house and kicked her foot in the air. One day my dad asked what she was doing. She said, “I’m just kicking out the devil.” She knew her adversary and wasn’t going to allow the enemy to take her joy. She loved the house of God. In the later years, she came in her wheelchair. On a couple of occasions, she raised her finger in the air and interrupted my dad’s message because she had a word from Jesus. She drank black coffee, ate lots of bacon, and lived until she was 96.
If I could choose just one word to describe granny Goude it would be resilient. A resilient person can withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions. They’re tough, hardy, and durable. Instead of growing weaker with age, they get stronger inside. When they go out, they go out swinging. I thought about granny when I came across Deuteronomy 34:7, “Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone.”
Here’s the question. How did he do it? Where did his resilience come from?