Friday, November 5, 2010

A story for my grandsons

Judy reminded me this week that our daughter Melissa had asked us to write our stories of faith - how we became Christians; what the Lord has meant to us over the years; etc.
She did a masterful job telling her story in just a relatively few short words. As I began to write my story, I realized it was impossible to tell that story in a few short words. Those who know me or who have heard me preach are all saying AMEN to that. Paucity of words is not my forte; especially given the fact that I just turned 60 - that is 6 decades.

That having been said, I cherished the opportunity to write my story. And even though it was long (Davis, my grandson, said it was long and he was "wiggling" so he'd have to read page two the next day), it was a very moving exercise for me.

Looking back to some of the high water marks in my life, I was reminded of God's faithfulness to me, even when I wasn't faithful to God. I was reminded of the loving, supportive people God placed in my life - family, mentors, friends, pastors and teachers - who made an impact and led me closer in faith to Christ. I was also reminded of moments - seemingly frozen in time - that were epiphanies of grace. A Communicants class; a youth group meeting; a college dorm room discussion; an evangelistic service; a life-changing, body shattering accident; an Elder retreat; a spontaneous outpouring of song among a group of African believers or a quiet, candlelight Communion service; All were, by eternity's time reference, but a micro-second of time. At the same instant, those were moments when God showed up and made a life time of difference.

What is your faith story? How has God led your path? As Moses began to restate the commands of God to the people of Israel, he told them to teach these things to their children. Sitting, standing, walking along the way - wherever and whatever the circumstances - we all have a story of God's faithful leading in our lives that is best passed on personally to our children and grandchildren.

I don't know what this will mean to my grandsons. But I do know what it meant for me to remember. Overcome with gratitude and humility, the footprints of God are so evident throughout the course of my life. Even though I didn't always recognize the Lord walking so closely with me, nonetheless, God was there. At times carrying me; other times pushing me; sometimes gently steering me; always protecting me.

I encourage you to take some time for this exercise. Write a retrospective of your life of faith that you can share with your posterity. Part of the blessing of covenant is that our children are blessed through Gods' blessing to parents.

Timothy was a young cohort of Paul's. But the Lord was at work in Timothy's life long before Paul came along. I II Timothy 1 Paul writes, "I am reminded of your sincere faith which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded now lives in you also. Of all the legacies we could leave our children and our children's children is the legacy of authentic, dynamic faith and the gracious love of God through Christ that guides us in our journey of faith.

Don't keep that to yourself. Remember it. Write it down. Share it with those you love. And in the process bless the Lord for "all his benefits to you." (Psalm 103:1)

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