Wisdom From Earlene

Bob RoaneWise living

I love the Lord, for He heard my voice. He heard my cry for mercy. Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live….When I was overcome by distress and sorrow I prayed: “Lord, save me!” He is gracious and righteous and full of compassion. The Lord protects those with childlike faith. When I was brought low, God saved me. Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you….Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His faithful servants. (Psalm 116, selected verses)

Learning From Earlene

Earlier this year, Evelyn Earlene Albright Dry (1939-2024), of Jasper, Texas died and went to be with Christ her Savior. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me will live, even though they die. And whoever lives by believing in Me will never die.”1 I only met Earlene once in the hospital near the end of her earthly life, but I am friends with her son, Ronnie, who told me great things about his mom. Ronnie said that Earlene was the heart and soul of the family. She always encouraged her children and grandchildren in play, work, and school. She stressed the importance of loving God, family, and country, and treating others as Christ commanded us.

At her memorial service, Ronnie read these notes from Earlene’s Bible:

Things God taught me through His servant Ruth.
If someone steps on me, offends me, or does something terrible to me, it’s alright.
Ruth, guided by the Lord, taught me not to retaliate, not to be revengeful or self-seeking.
Why? Because my God is in charge of my life.
I must be meek, living under the Lord’s control.
I must stay angry only about things that offend Christ, not Earlene.
I will read this list daily to grow as a child of God.

I love Earlene’s wisdom! By faith in Jesus, she was applying the Scriptures to herself for her own progress in Christ-likeness. No wonder she was so loved by her family and others. I wish that I had known Earlene more and better! She reminds me of these Scripture truths:

God is in Control

Deuteronomy 31:8 “The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged.”

When everything around us feels chaotic, let’s remember that God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) has been, is, and will be sovereign over our lives and our world. When we call on Him, He takes away our anxiety, fear, and worry, and gives us righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. In the Book of Ruth, the Lord cared for this widow who was a foreigner in Israel. She had no resources or outward advantages. But God worked behind the scenes to provide for her and make her an ancestor of Jesus the Messiah!

Retaliation and Revenge are Wrong

Romans 12:18-20 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, but leave room for God’s wrath. The Lord says: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay.” On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink.” Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you. Get the best of evil by doing good.

This better behavior flows from trusting that God is in control and we are not. Lewis B. Smedes said: “Revenge never evens the score. It ties both the injured and the injurer to an escalator of pain that never stops.” Forgiveness and reconciliation are the better ways. Ruth is a Christ-like example for us. She trusted and obeyed God during the days of the Judges when others were living selfishly.2 Let’s be like Ruth and Earlene!

Meekness is Not Weakness

Scripture says: Those who trust in the Lord will be meek and humble….Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth….Jesus is gentle and humble in heart and gives us rest for our souls….As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness (meekness), and patience. (Zeph 3:12; Matt 5:5, 11:29; Col 3:12)

Because the Lord is in charge, meek people will not be abused, ignored, and trampled when Christ returns. They will be elevated and rewarded. Jesus will tell them: “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master’s happiness!”3

Jesus’ genealogy lists four Old Testament women (Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba) as well Christ’s mother, Mary. God worked through these women in unusual and unexpected circumstances. That shows us that He can redeem and honor even the most unlikely people. These women each became part of God’s eternal plan to bring Jesus’ way, truth, life, light, and healing to the whole world. The Lord can and will use us too as we submit to Him.

Avoid Sinful Anger

Proverbs says: Fools show their annoyance at once, but prudent people overlook an insult….A short-tempered person does foolish things…Whoever is patient has great understanding, but whoever is quick-tempered displays folly….A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger….A hot-headed person starts fights. A cool-headed person stops them. (Proverbs 12:16, 14:17,29, 15:1,18)

I love that Earlene aimed to not be thin-skinned, easily offended, or act like a victim when insulted. She was imitating Christ! It’s easy, but childish and self-centered, to make mountains out of a molehills and exaggerate the hurt others cause us. Taking everything personally leads to bitterness, emptiness, resentment, and many other evils. If we are honest before God about our own weaknesses, that should make us more tolerant of other’s errors.


Heavenly Father, Your Scriptures remind us what a faithful and trustworthy God You are. You teach us in Ruth that no one is outside Your offer of help and salvation. You are our never-failing Savior in times of trouble. Thank You Jesus, for being our precious Kinsman-Redeemer who bought us back from slavery to sin into God’s family. You were crucified for us, You are risen for us, and You are our Bridegroom who is coming back for us. Help us to trust and obey You more. Amen.4

I am grateful to Earlene Dry for reminding me of the Book of Ruth and its lessons for us!

Notes (various Bible translations): 1 John 11:25-26.     2 Judges 17:6, 21:25.     3 Matt 25:21.     4 Prayer adapted from knowing-jesus.com.