Amazingly, until December last year my husband had all four of his Grandparents still living. But his Nana went to be with Jesus in December, and in April her husband followed her. Gramps was almost 98 when he died, so while it was sad to say goodbye to him, we were able to celebrate his long and very interesting life together at a thanksgiving service in May. Aren’t people’s lives amazing? We found out that Gramps survived a direct hit on his flat during the Second World War, in which all of his neighbours were killed, and on a much lighter (but still amazing) note, he once had a cactus exhibition in the Chelsea Flower Show. He was an extraordinarily talented man. I wanted to share with you three lessons I learnt that day:
- We pass on more than our hair colour
One thing I find fascinating is that while I sat there listening to the story of Gramps’ life, I could tell that my husband takes after him. Mike’s incredible focus and single-mindedness, his love for science and his creativity – all of these have trickled down, in part at least, from Gramps.
It’s worth bearing this in mind. I suppose I don’t have any control over some of the things I pass onto my children, but I can control some of it. Will I pass down a fiery temper, or patience? Will my grandchildren display my gratitude or my grumbling? Yikes. Something to pray about.
- God’s creation speaks of his glory
Gramps spent almost his entire life resisting the Lordship of Jesus, but he was so impressed by the beauty of God’s creation that he couldn’t deny the existence of the creator God. He was, rightly, unceasingly amazed by the wonder of this beautiful universe.
I’m not really into plants, or animals for that matter. My children are more likely than I am to point out to me blossom on a tree or the bright moon on the afternoon school run. But I need to train myself to see the beauty in the created world. Since it all points us to the glorious Creator, it’s my duty as a parent to help my children enjoy the world and praise the God who made it all.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 19:1
- It’s not too late to turn to Jesus
Gramps lived a life burdened with guilt over things he’d done. Being human, he’d done things to feel guilty about. And he found no relief from this burden until right near the end of his life here on earth. Without Jesus, we all have so much to feel guilty about, don’t we? It’s hard enough as a Christian, knowing I’m forgiven, not to dwell on awful or just downright foolish things I’ve said or done. And if we don’t feel guilty about things, we certainly will on the day we meet Jesus as our judge. That’s unless we’ve found forgiveness from the Father through Jesus the saviour. Gramps found that forgiveness through Jesus, and acceptance from God, right at the end of his life. The truth is, we don’t know when our life will end. So don’t put it off – bow the knee to Jesus today. In this life it’s never too late.
Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6.
‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.’ Matthew 11:28-29.