Written by Ron Byers, Pastor of Barfield Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, TN
There is a song that includes the line, “Precious memories, how they linger.”
I thank the Lord for the precious memories of my grandfathers that linger in my mind. I certainly would love to pass down precious memories to my grandchildren as well.
My maternal grandfather was a Preacher, and a phrase he often repeated was, “The Lord never tries to do anything, He just speaks, and it’s done!” This memory has often blessed me with the assurance that, although many situations in life are too difficult for me to solve, fix, or even understand; there is nothing too hard for the Lord. His Word has power to help, to comfort, and to guide us in every area of life.
Along with being a preacher, my grandfather also worked as a coal miner in West Virginia. He was a great storyteller, and he shared many stories with me of some dangerous situations in which God had protected him and kept him safe. He believed in hard work, strong faith, and taking care of family!
My paternal grandfather was very faithful to attend church. Amazingly, he was given an award for perfect attendance in Sunday School for thirty-five consecutive years! I don’t think the Guinness Book of World Records includes that category, but he might be in the running for an honorable mention!
I was visiting at his house one summer, and as I was running around barefoot, I stepped on a bee and got stung on my foot. I was hurt and angry and crying, and my grandfather came to console me. He told me that when the bee stung me, it caused the stinger to be pulled out from its body and that would have resulted in the death of the bee. He assured me that the bee would never be able to sting me again. He also reminded me that the Bible says, “O death, where is thy sting?” He let me know that because Jesus came and let Himself be stung by Death, it caused the stinger to be pulled out so that Death could never sting us again, if our faith is in Jesus Christ!
Now that I have become a grandfather, I have an immense desire to provide my grandchildren with the same encouragement and positive direction that I received from my grandfathers.
There is hardly any greater joy than seeing the face of a grandchild light up when they see you, and along with the enjoyment, there is also a great sense of responsibility and duty. There are so many negative influences and dismal examples for our grandchildren to navigate through.
We must do all we can to provide a prayer cover, to show by our life choices a positive role model, and to give them our stories and words of encouragement to linger in their memories.
Our life situation can be compared to runners in a relay race. They each take their turn carrying the baton and making their lap around the track. They have to hold onto that baton or their efforts will all be in vain.
Especially as grandfathers, we have to hold the Truth of God’s Word as it has been passed down to us, and we must pass it along to our grandchildren. All the money, heirlooms, or real estate we could pass down to them cannot compare to the value of Spiritual wisdom that will guide them on the right path throughout their lives!
It has been my privilege to serve in ministry for over thirty years, and I am so honored that our youngest son, his wife, and their two children attend the church where I pastor. The oldest of our grandchildren is just about to turn three years old, and he has quite an amazing supply of energy. I love to hear him say, “Pop Pops, come play with me!” and it melts my heart to see him reach out his arms and simply say, “Up” for me to pick him up and carry him around.
One of the greatest blessings I have ever received from my grandson is the time he saw my Bible, the one I always preach from, lying on the table. He pointed at it and said, “That’s Pop Pop’s Book!”
More than anything else, I wish for my grandchildren to see that their grandfather did his best to learn God’s Word, follow God’s Word, and share God’s Word with others.
I am blessed that I can point to a Bible and say it was my grandfather’s Book. I am blessed for my grandson to call the Bible “Pop Pop’s Book.”
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if someday my grandson’s grandson would point to a Bible and say, “That’s my grandfather’s Book!”?