Wednesday, November 2, 2016

History & God's Faithfulness in Our Family

When you think of this world and how it is not just turning away from the truth of God’s Word, but is running as fast as it can away from God, do you wonder how your grandchildren will manage to hold on to God and His Word? When you read in Psalms 78 how God’s people, who experienced first-hand the wonders and miracles He did to give them their own land and homes, ended up forgetting Him and all He did in just a generation or two, do you feel concern for your grandchildren?

Yes, this world can be scary. It is not the place it was just a few short years ago when we were children . . . and really, they were just a few short years ago! But, while the world is changing, God is not. He is the same, yesterday, today and forever! (Hebrews 13:8)

When I talk with my grandsons about Who God is, I always include how He knew what He was doing when He made them (Psalm 139) and they can trust Him. I tell them God created them to be boys . . . and I’m so very glad He did. (If they were girls I’d say I was so glad God created them to be girls!) Then I repeat how God knew what He was doing when He created them to be boys!

And we talk about how God has a good plan for their lives which will give them hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) This verse is currently our blessing verse which we say at meals and before bed on sleepovers. Sometimes we talk about how God has worked through time to bring His plan together for them. I tell them about some of their ancestors . . . they think it is, “pretty cool” how their grand aunt was able to track our family back to kings and queens in England and Europe. They find it exciting to know an ancestor was “shanghaied” from Scotland – hit over the head and thrown on a boat to America where he had to work for seven years as an indentured servant before he regained his freedom!

They are quite delighted to know we have ancestors who were buddies with Lafayette – and came with him to help General George Washington fight the British . . . and brought Basset Hounds as a gift for the General! (Their Aunt Tiffany has a basset hound - Rosie - and they think this is a great breed of dog!) They were quite amazed to learn another ancestor traded his home in Canada for a fast horse after a failed attempt to overthrow the government of Canada . . . this ancestor believed owning a fast horse was much more necessary than a house and is how this “branch” of our family tree ended up in America! These ancestors had lives which were interesting, exciting and capture the attention and imagination of young boys for sure!

They were also impressed to learn of a more recent ancestor – their Great-great-great Grandpa, who when the bank went under and he lost most of his money in the Depression, rather than become angry and choose to hold tightly to the things he still had, he made the choice to give food from his grocery store to families in need. At his funeral a man stood up and said their Great-great-great-grandpa saved the lives of his family.

History can be interesting. I want my grandsons to have a sense of who their ancestors were, and more importantly, to understand God has a plan for their lives, too! Just as they have some ancestors who chose to do what was right, they can make the choice to do as God wants. To stand up for and give generously to those in need. To be people who care about others.

And to understand God’s plan worked to bring their ancestors to America, to bring their grandpa and I together (he is from California and I am from Michigan – we met on a volcano!) and to bring their parents together (their mom is from Illinois, their dad from Michigan and they met on a mission trip to Thailand and Nepal!) God is big enough to bring all the people in our family tree to the places where they needed to be, so these boys would be alive here and now. I tell them God knew what He was doing when He created them and how glad I am He created them to be the boys they are!

I want them to understand God does have a plan for their lives; a plan for their good which will give them hope and a future. If – and when – they face challenging times throughout their lives, they can hold on to this truth. If – and when – they hear others talk about how this world and our lives on it are all accidents and they may choose to be whatever they want, I want them to remember God created them to be the boys they are and He has a good plan for their lives. God brought their ancestors together – not by accident, but by His perfect plan and God has a perfect plan for them! He created them to be the boys they are and they can trust Him!

This is something we all can do – when our grandchildren are young and throughout their lives – encourage them with the truth of Who God is, He created them to be the people they are . . . and possibly illustrate it in a personal way with the accounts of your ancestors!

(This photo is of my grandsons' Great-great-great Grandparents and their Great-great Grandma.)

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