A Devotion May Be Someone's Only Bible

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I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will add fifteen years to your life.  Isaiah 38:5 NLT

Photo courtesy of pixabay.Ruby lived on a hill, tended her flowers, and was my grandmother. She couldn’t drive a car, and she never wrote a poem, but the pages of her Bible were worn thin from constant use.

I was barely a month from my sixteenth birthday, and Mamaw and I had plans to burn rubber. I think we both had waited for years for the freedom to go and do as we would like, together. Then on December 7, the doctors pronounced that her life would end in six months. Cancer.

I wallowed in the stages of grief for the first few months. Then one day after school, I sat at her kitchen table and screamed, “You’re going to die, and you’re acting like nothing is wrong!”

Mamaw clicked the stove button, led me into the living room, and reclined on the couch. The smell of dinner carried through her little home as she told me why I had never seen her cry about her death sentence. I thought in all our years together I knew every story about this woman, but she was saving the best for last.

Almost forty years ago, a different set of doctors told a young mother of four that pancreatic cancer would take her life in less than a year. And I’m pretty sure she didn’t cry back then either. She marched home and looked up the story of Hezekiah. This simple woman pointed to the then firm pages of 2 Kings and asked for the same gift as Hezekiah had. King Hezekiah was mortally ill, but he petitioned the Lord for more time. And the Lord granted him fifteen more years.

Ruby asked the Lord to prolong her life until her children were old enough to take care of themselves. And like Hezekiah, God heard her prayer. Not only did she get another fifteen years, she also got decades more until she met her grandchildren. And as my bitter tears blurred the sight of her, my grandmother said, “How could I cry a single tear when He has given me more than I asked for?”

As you mourn your loved one, concentrate on the parts of them that live on in you. Don’t allow the wisdom of their life to be robbed by the temporary grave. Hold tightly to their stories of bravery, love, and obedience, and know they are still with you.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

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Cecil Stokes

Cecil Stokes founded Tentmakers Entertainment in 1999. He is an Executive Producer/Writer/Producer/Director. He has worked on over 500 cable television shows for networks such as A&E, Court TV, DIY, ESPN, Food Network, HGTV, History Channel, and Turner. For his television programming, he won multiple awards including the New York Film Festival, the Communicator Award, dozens of Tellys, and an Emmy. Cecil’s award-winning documentaries include “A Man Named Pearl” and “Children of all Ages.” Cecil also co-created and produced the feature film “October Baby.” Most recently, he has written, produced, and directed over 100 branded entertainment projects for the Scripps Networks (HGTV, DIY, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Fine Living & GAC).

In 2015, Cecil adopted his son Boone from foster care at the age of eight. He has learned first-hand the beautiful and the brutal of raising a son from foster care. Though he had traversed 13 countries and 46 states, walked the Red Carpet, and lived what felt like a dream life, Cecil says his life did not begin until the day he became a father. With new awareness of the great need we have for the adoption of legally free foster children, Cecil now campaigns for Christians to step forward and become the forever families Christ’s children deserve.


  1. That was beautiful! You can tell the greatest stories. I remember your grandma, but I didn’t know her. She sounds like a great lady, which I know she was.