Tuesday, January 27, 2015

God Does Not Have Any Grandchildren

My wife and I are in the age bracket where some people assume we must have grandchildren.   I have gray hair and my wife has some gray in her hair.  We have grown children who are married, so many just assume we must have grandchildren but we do not.  Neither of our children or their spouses seem to have an interest in having children so we are satisfied to have a granddog (she is so cute, you have to see pictures of her soon if you have not) and a grandcat (rather standoffish, often sullen like some children you may know) that our children own.  Our granddog is named Kiwi and she remembers us every time we go to visit her and her parents.  Kiwi is very affectionate and shakes with joy when she first sees us again after an absence.  She wants to show us new tricks she has learned and she does a dance of greeting where she puts her paws down before us and makes us feel very welcome.  At night when it is time to go to bed, she will jump on our bed and snuggle down meaning she wants to sleep with us that night and that usually happens.  She may not be a human grandchild but she is very close to it in our view.

You readers who do have human grandchildren are rightfully proud of them and I know you describe to others all of their joys and attributes as I did above about our granddog.  I am sure you have new photos to share on your phone or maybe even a real photograph in your wallet or purse.  You love them so much because they belong to your children whom you also love.  Grandchildren are a gift from God and God uses grandparents to help care for the new generation to show them much affirmation and acceptance.  Children who have grandparents who are involved in their lives will remember that throughout their lives and it will be a source of inspiration to them as they grow.

I did not know my grandparents and I really miss that experience in my life.  All of them died before I was born or when I was just a toddler except for my father's mother who was named Willie Mae.  She lived until I was about 8 years old and then she died of cancer.  I remember very little about her except that she was a large woman and very distinguished looking.  She stayed with us for a short while just before she died so she could receive cancer treatment at John Sealy Hospital in Galveston.  My parents would take her there for treatment now and then.  Otherwise, she would be at our house and she did not sleep much at night because of her pain.  Instead, she would be up in the night canning jars of pickles or preserves.  I think she did that to keep busy and not notice the pain so much.

I always thought I would have enjoyed knowing my grandparents and I did genealogical research just to learn about them when I was in my 20s.  Having not known three of them, I learned about their lives and deaths and their families, uncles and aunts to me, some of whom I did know and some who reminded me of them from what I had learned about them.

God has a large family but it is so odd that God does not have any grandchildren.  God has a world full of children but not a single grandchild.  That is because every person is a child of God and every person is on a path of discovery in life to find God in a very personal way.  We can teach our children about God and try to equip them for life so that they will follow in the path that we think God wants them to go but they have to do the walking in the path that will lead them to God.  We cannot do it for them.

There is a verse in the Bible that I heard quoted many times in church when I was growing up.  "Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray."  (Proverbs 22:6)  That verse was always used as a promise to parents of children who had grown up going to church but no longer attended.  It was meant to bring them comfort that their children would find their way to God on their own terms one day even if they currently did not seem to have an interest in religious activities.

Many of us have children who do not go to church but they grew up in our homes attending church and being taught about God and God's Kingdom.  We hear about their weekend activities outdoors or at sporting events and we may feel that we failed in some way.  I believe the verse quoted above speaks to us about the importance of trusting in God's grace.  When we have planted the seeds of righteousness, they will bear fruit at some point in the future.  We cannot determine the time or way it will happen but we can trust that God will bring about the good work in lives that have been prepared to receive the fruit of our labors on God's behalf.

God loves every person on the planet, even persons that we wonder how God could love them when they do many horrible things, perhaps even in the name of God.  That is what is mysterious and fantastic about grace....God loves us as we are, simply because we are God's loved and created ones.  The voice of God spoke to Jesus at his baptism--"You are my son, the Beloved."---and we hear God's voice in our ears also speaking those same words--"You are my child, the Beloved, the one I love dearly."

No comments:

Post a Comment