She was turning 17, a freshman in college, first time away from home on her birthday. A large package had arrived from her parents, and she could hardly wait to open it.
Her father was Operations Supervisor for a well known baking company and had sent several kinds of cookies and crackers to share with her roommates. Her mother had made her special peanut butter fudge, which she loved. But that was not all.
Gifts of Love and Faith
At the bottom of the box was a wrapped gift. She opened it to find a lovely genuine leather Bible. Inside was a note written by her dad. That was special, because he hardly ever wrote notes or letters.
You’ve probably guessed by now that I am that girl. I came across that old Bible recently and almost threw it away. It had some torn pages, but the outside was still good.
Suddenly I got the idea of taking parts of it to preserve in an art journal page.
My parents loved me and shared God’s love with me. The following scripture does not mention fathers, but it shows how faith can be passed down through the generations.
2 Timothy 1:5 (CSB)
I recall your sincere faith that first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and now, I am convinced, is in you also.
My mother was from Alabama. She remembers the old camp meetings where she loved singing the hymns. When I was growing up, I remember seeing her stop every day to rest, read her Bible and pray.
I can still almost see her sitting there in her chair with her Bible on her lap. Years later, when she and I worked together, we would have a special time of prayer in the morning before leaving for work.
My dad was from Mississippi. He opened up one night after my brother and I sang in a group at a little country church. He said he gave his heart to God in a church like that.
Daddy would often lead us in family devotions, but somehow or other those times would end. We still knew that he loved the Lord and he loved us.
Prayer an Important Part of Life
Along with my parents there were other teachers and mentors who helped me continue to develop my relationship with God. Prayer was important to each of them.
My family was very active in church during my formative years. My mother told me that I raised my hand in church to receive Christ when I was six years old, but I had no remembrance of it.
I would lie in bed at night wondering if I was a Christian. I remember “asking Jesus into my heart” many times.
I did not understand that being a Christian meant a relationship with Jesus Christ.
One night at a gathering at our Youth Director’s house, we had a bonfire. Each of us took a stick, which was to represent out lives. We then threw them into the fire one by one to represent giving our lives to God for His service.
I couldn’t stand it any longer and began crying, needing to know for sure I was God’s child. I prayed that night, making a commitment to follow Jesus and have never looked back. My faith has been tested at times, but God has always been faithful.
Friends and Intercessory Prayer
Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.
I remember when I almost married the wrong person. We had even gotten material for bridesmaids dresses and my mom had painstakingly made my wedding dress. I had a specific way I wanted the sleeve and she made her own pattern. She sewed tiny pearls all over the dress, and it was beautiful.
Neither my mom or dad or some of the ladies in my church thought I had made the right decision, but no one mentioned it to me.
Instead they prayed a lot, trusting that God would help me see.
It wasn’t until after I broke the engagement that they told me these things. My dad was wise to wait, because he knew I was stubborn.
It must have taken a lot of wisdom and patience for him to keep quiet, wait and pray. He did say that if I had not ended it, he was going to have a serious talk with me before the wedding took place.
Learning From My Parents
My dad’s example helped me later on when I became a parent and through the child raising years. It helps me even now as my children are adults.
God knows and loves our children more than we do. He can reach them where we can’t. We should never stop praying for them. This scripture encourages us to never give up:
My parents and other mentors have passed on to me a legacy of faith, laying a solid foundation through their prayers and examples. My ongoing relationship with God is strong. I can be confident that He will accomplish his purposes and I don’t have to worry.
Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.
I believe this is what my parents did for me and taught me to do for myself and my family. My prayer is that my husband and I will stay strong and also leave a legacy of faith for those whose lives we touch.
May we pray together?
I thank you for parents who loved you and loved me, who cared enough to teach me about your love. Thank you that even though there were misunderstandings and mistakes, they stayed firm in their beliefs and their love. Thank you for the legacy of faith they passed on to me.
For those who did not have this gift of loving parents I pray that you will show them your love and
faithfulness. Thank you that you are a good Father who loves His children deeply.
Please keep us in your love and help us to show that love to others. May we be faithful in our own lives to trust you and be a light of hope to the world. May our children see you in us even though we make mistakes, for you can take our mistakes and turn them around to use for your glory.
May our lives be a testimony to your faithfulness, goodness and love, even in the midst of trials. May we know the joy and peace that only you can give. May we not give up in praying for those we love.
In the precious name of Jesus I pray,
~~ Gayl for Beloved Prodigal
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Literacy Musing Mondays