My grandfather passed away almost two weeks ago. It’s been difficult, harder than I expected. He was 93, so it wasn’t a huge shock. And yet, I can’t seem to wrap my mind around it. Both my grandparents gone. The ones who nurtured me in ways I can’t even explain. They supported me in my chosen college and chosen major, even though it’s definitely not a money maker. My grandfather taught college Spanish and journalism–my love of teaching and my love of writing are not at all out of place. So much of who I am is a result of who they were.
Death has a way of making you think about legacies, both the legacies the dead person left you and the legacies you’ll be leaving behind. So many of the changes I’ve made have been because I want to pass along something different to my children. I don’t want them to end up with the same emotional, spiritual, or physical issues. I figure I can pass along what I’ve received or I can give them different psychoses.
Lately our bedtime reading has been out of Exodus. It’s always amazing/terrifying to me the things that Israel got to witness. God even says that the plagues are supposed to be faith building to them:
Exodus 10:1-2 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these miraculous signs of mine among them that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the LORD” (NIV).
And yet, even after seeing these miraculous signs and watching God make a distinction between the Egyptians and the Israelites, this is the generation “whose bodies fell in the desert” and who was unable to enter the land because of “unbelief” (Hebrews 3:15-19 NIV). They left a legacy of unbelief. They didn’t even circumcise their children (Joshua 5:2-9) or celebrate Passover (Joshua 5:10-11). They didn’t live like people who belonged to Yahweh. And that’s the legacy they left their children.
Thankfully, God can always change our family tree–He can raise up godly children out of an ungodly heritage. Even so, I want to be intentional about leaving a godly legacy. God, change me to be the mother You want for my children. Show me what kind of legacy I’m leaving now, and help me to live in the light of my descendants, rather than being entirely focused on myself. Circumcise my heart and the hearts of all my descendants to love You with everything we are. Thank You for changing me the ways You already have! In Jesus’ Name, amen.