By Guest Blogger, Sharon Gamble
The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
planted in the house of the Lord,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green,
proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;
he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”
The other day my daughter sent me the most beautiful picture of our eight-month old granddaughter, Mercedes. The picture of her sweet, innocent smile and her wide-eyed wonder at the big, fine world around her stabbed at my heart. Oh little one! How I want you to KEEP that trusting, happy outlook all the days of your life! And yet … troubles will come. Betrayals. Unexpected setbacks. Death. Injury. Wounds. They are an inevitable part of life on this fallen, broken, messy beautiful planet we call home. How will the hard things affect the light in your eyes? Your trust and joy?
Have you ever felt that way looking at your grandchildren? We’d spare them if we could, wouldn’t we? And yet, all of us have been shaped and formed through the particular hardships God has allowed in our lives. Who are we to tell the Potter what to do with His clay? So what can I do, miles away, to help my little granddaughter and my grandsons grow in faith and trust in the midst of the messiness of life? I find several life lessons embedded in Psalm 92 for us older folks I hope you will embrace them as I have.
1) The best gift I give my family and friends is a close walk with God myself.
I learned this long ago as a wife and I cling to it again as a grandmother. The Psalmist says it like this:
“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God.
My life does speak louder than my words. My life will either enable my words to be heard or dismissed. I want to stay planted in the house of the Lord, abiding with Him all the days of my life. I want my grandchildren to see me and my husband live out our faith in the choices we make … in the language we use, in the way we spend our time and money, all the days we live.
2) God expects me to bear fruit for His kingdom no matter my age.
Verse 14 says, “They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green….” My own parents, still living and active in their 80s are a great example of this.
My dad and mom visit nursing homes once a month, singing hymns with the folk there. They also invite lonely people over to their home… often. They bring food to those who are sick. They write letters to those who are hurting. They may have “retired” from their official jobs, but they haven’t retired from serving others. This outward focus keeps them fresh and green, and lots of fun to be around. They’re the kind who ask you how you are and follow it up with more questions because they are genuinely interested.
I want to do that with my grandchildren. I don’t want to be preoccupied with myself and my own aches and pains. I want to be focused on my grandchildren, asking questions and listening to their stories with interest and delight. Oh Lord, keep me “fresh and green”!
3) No matter how far away my dear grandchildren live, I can touch them through my prayers!
The Psalmist concludes with this prayerful declaration: “…proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”
One of my favorite hours of the week is my Grandmas in Prayer group time. Every Monday night from 7-8pm, ten grandmothers show up at my home and we earnestly seek God and pray for our precious grandchildren. We start with praise, declaring that the Lord is indeed upright … a Rock, Good, and a Shepherd. It’s a wonderful time of honoring Him! We confess silently and prepare our hearts for the work of intercession. We thank God for answers to prayer from the previous weeks, and then we roll up our sleeves and PRAY. We use Scripture as a springboard for praying for these precious ones. Here are some examples:
Lord, may ___________ trust you with all his heart
Father, help _________ to obey her parents
Dear God, please enable ___________ to realize you are his good shepherd
Throughout the room, in groups of twos and threes, I hear the murmur of women crying out for their grandchildren, asking God to equip them with all they need to stand firm in this hard world and to trust Him always, no matter what.
My prayer is that when they visit, they will (please, dear Lord, make it so!) see Jesus in the words I speak, the life choices I make, and in how I live. Oh how I want to “stay fresh and green” and point these dear ones to Him!
Make us faithful so we can point our grandchildren to you, so we can pray with power and purpose that they know, love and serve You all their lives.
May THIS be our legacy!
In Jesus’ Name, and for His kingdom’s sake, Amen.
Sharon Gamble, Moms in Prayer USA National Director, resides in Dover, New Hampshire, and has been married to her high school sweetheart, Ray, since 1979. She has two wonderful daughters, two great sons-in-law and four precious grandchildren. She loves biking with Ray, walking in all kinds of weather and curling up with a good book by her fireplace.
You will be encouraged through Sharon’s weekly devotion, Monday Love
Founder and Executive Director of the Christian Grandparenting Network. Cavin writes a weekly blog called Courageous Grandparenting, serves as Assistant Resource Director for the Legacy Coalition, hosts a monthly online GrandChat Live! for grandparents, is an author and speaker.
Cavin and Diane were married in 1969, have two daughters and nine grandchildren. Their home is in Colorado Springs.