Psalms 71:17-18 “O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works. Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.”
I had the opportunity to grow up in a close community of people. We lived on the corner in the big house. It wasn’t hard to spot our family; when all ten of us decided to go anywhere, it was quite a production.
We knew our neighbors and they knew us. In those days, we could leave our doors open to the house, the garage and not wonder or worry about thievery. We all watched out for one another. It was nothing to have a neighbor walk in the house and announce their arrival and sit down to the table like they were family.
Our friend’s parents knew our parents. We went to the same church, we attended the same schools. The neighborhood was our playground and when the streetlights came on, we all knew it was time to go home.
Many years have gone by and those days have seemingly vanished. We lock our doors. We secure our homes. We say little to the folks next door because we rarely see them and wonder if we should trust them. We’ve grown far less open, far less trusting and even less ‘neighborly’.
Our parents were the ones to establish the connection with our friends parents. They built the trust. They talked and shared values and views with one another to know that Paul and Sue were good kids and that their kids were safe to play with them.
In our society today, we have a great disconnect. How many of us said either in our hearts or out loud; “I will never be like my Mom!” or “I’ll never be like my Dad!” only to realize that we did just that?
We are what we were taught.
As I read 1 Chronicles 1-2, I was brought closer to David in the last year of his life. He was living in the light of his successes. By God’s hand, he had built a great kingdom. In trusting God to lead him, David made sure to pass on to Solomon the wisdom he had obtained. He very astutely realized that he did not possess the strength nor the wisdom it took to build all that he now presided over.
Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
In counseling, I have seen and heard things that make me wonder; ‘Didn’t you learn this growing up?’ I have learned not to assume anything. I have learned that I cannot apply my experience as ‘normal’ to anyone elses but mine.
What does that mean? Is it normal because we have experienced the same things or we can find a majority of people that share the same experiences? What may be normal for you was not normal for another. To apply expectations to someone assuming our normal is unfair when their situation and circumstance taught them differntly.
God has principles and guidelines for all of us in any situation and circumstance. Though He may not spell them out specifically, they apply just the same. In my day, moral behavior was expected because that is what we saw lived out in front of us.
Everyone has an opinion on the condition of our youth today and how to ‘fix’ it. We classify them; label them and tell them what they should be doing based on our ‘normal’. God showed me once again in His Word that it is my responsibility to show not just my children, but the youth within my sphere of influence the strength of God and the power of God.
So, how do we do that?
God’s strength and power can only be shown by a life of faith.
Growing up, our children never asked, “Are we going to church today?” It wasn’t an option. We were and still are faithful. Many parents seek to do what is required, when it takes a bit more energy, thought and prayer to more than survive parenthood.
I have been taught and have learned that if I am a success and fail at parenting, I am a failure at all of it. I heard it said:
” I will know I have succeeded as a parent when my granchidren are living for God.”
Now, that does NOT mean that all of my children must be in full-time ministry. It means they are following His leading for their life, walking with Him an a daily basis and are a contributing member in the church and community to which they belong.
Too many children have failed with expectations of living out their parents dreams instead of what God called them to do. I would hate to find out when I meet my Heavenly Father, that I was the greatest hinderance to my children’s calling in life.
Today, I must be ready to testify of answered prayer; of blessings received and what God has done through me recently.
I must be:
Vocal – Never let a day go by that we do not speak up about God and His goodness.
Visible – Live out our life as if the world were watching for evidence of Christ in us.
Vibrant – Attack the mediocrity in our life; it is the destroyer of God’s will in our life.
I would like to say to my grandchildren and possibly my great-granchildren what God has done to answer my prayers today; how He showed me somthing from His Word or how He used me to see someone trust Christ as Savior.
Your body may not be able to do what it once could, but as long as we have breath, we have a purpose to fulfill. We must do what we can with what we’ve been given for His glory.