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Intersection Column | Wisdom Belongs to the Aged

by Elizabeth Goddard

I grew up in a small East Texas town, surrounded by a big loving Christian family that included my grandparents on both sides. I even got to know both my maternal and paternal great-grandmothers! Not many people have had that privilege. Believe me, we took a lot of four-generation pictures while we could because, eventually, their time on this earth would come to an end. But at least I could carry with me the memories in my heart and the words of wisdom shared.

When I was in my thirties, I lost my grandfathers and, decades later, my grandmothers too, along with my mother. (At the time of writing this article, my father is still living.) I miss them all so much and recognize what a solid foundation they gave me, modeling what it looks like to walk a life of faith and remain strong during hardship. Just knowing whether a decision would meet with their approval or not often kept me in line. I could never intentionally disappoint them and highly valued their opinion of me. I consider their guidance and wisdom a priceless treasure.

God blessed me with wonderful mentors in my grandparents. “Wisdom belongs to the aged, and understanding to the old,” Job 12:12 says.

I believe this is why so many of my novels include the “voice of wisdom,” coming from an older person, usually a grandfather or father-figure to one of my main characters, to give them direction and help keep them in line. In Cold Light of Day (Missing in Alaska book 1) Chief Autumn Long’s grandfather, Ike Lively, provides her with guidance and insight. He remains a strong influence in Shadows at Dusk book 2, but it’s Isaac, the airplane mechanic, who holds the role of bush pilot Carrie James’s grandfather-figure and mentor. Carrie James has needed someone to take her under his wing and protect her from a growing evil menace. He’s the guiding influence who encourages her to continue to follow God’s call in her life and do what she does best—help others—while he has taken it upon himself to care for her and help her as if she were his own family. They’re a team. Until they’re not.

Then Carrie is left on her own to find her way as the evil closes in around her. She can still hear Isaac’s words, even his voice, echo through her heart and mind to direct her. His words of wisdom are always with her, and she can choose to listen and follow the right path or ignore them completely as she travels throughout Southeast Alaska both to help Detective Trevor West search for his missing sister and to find answers regarding Isaac’s untimely death.

Carrie was raised by missionary parents and mentored by a godly man in Isaac, so even though she feels all alone in this world, God is always with her. She relies on the good solid upbringing she has received, Isaac’s guidance, and hangs onto Scripture. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2). That’s one of my favorite Scriptures and I often meditate on it, while I carry with me all the wisdom and guidance of a strong Christian family—those who’ve gone before me.

I hope readers will enjoy diving into this wild ride of a story that will take them to amazing places all over Southeast Alaska. I love to showcase God’s beautiful creation while at the same time exposing the devastating pain from the struggles my characters experience on their journey to a satisfying ending.


About the Author

Elizabeth Goddard is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of more than 50 novels, including Cold Light of Day and the Rocky Mountain Courage and Uncommon Justice series. Her books have sold nearly 1.5 million copies. She is a Carol Award and Reader's Choice Award winner and a Daphne du Maurier Award finalist. When she's not writing, she loves spending time with her family, traveling to find inspiration for her next book, and serving with her husband in ministry.


About the Book

Montana Detective Trevor West is desperate to learn what happened to his sister, who went missing in Alaska over a year ago, leaving nothing but a few photographs as clues to her whereabouts. Trevor enlists the help of an experienced bush pilot. But Carrie James has her own agenda. Grieving the death of her closest friend and the only person she could trust, Carrie will help Trevor find his sister on one condition—that he help her track down her friend's killer.


Did You Know?

The Bible contains many stories of men and women who overcame hardships. These stories in God’s Word often point out that the person’s accomplishments didn’t come from their own strength, but rather came directly from God’s supernatural strength and presence in their lives. The strength we have doesn’t belong to us, but instead is attributed to God’s power.

  • The word “strength,” or another derivative of the word, occurs over 300 times in the Bible.

  • The phrase “be strong and courageous” occurs eleven times in the Old Testament: three mentions in Deuteronomy, five times in Joshua, two references in 1 Chronicles and once in 2 Chronicles.

  • In Hebrew chazak ve’emats means “strong and courageous.” In some Jewish gatherings, the congregations stand during the reading of the Torah and at the end, the listeners respond loudly, “chazak, chazak, ve-nit chazek,” which translates, “Be strong, be strong, and let us be strengthened.”

Some of life’s most difficult circumstances often wear us down to the point of feeling like all hope is lost. Even the less-significant, non-life-threatening challenges bring about fatigue and a weary mindset. Fortunately as believers, we don’t have to rely on our own strength in the “big” or “small” difficulties. God is bigger than anything life throws at us. HIS power and strength are all we need. When we’re too weak to stand on our own, He promises we can lean into Him. He’ll give us the strength we need. Be strong, be strong, and let us be strengthened.


Why I LOVE My Local Christian Bookstore

“I love to visit and shop in bookstores! In fact, if I could, I would place a cot in one and just live there and be able to see and touch and read all the amazing books that are there!”


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