Does our relationship with God influence our children and grandchildren?
I think it does! Here’s a short story to prove it!
Year: 2003: Our grandson, Connor lives with his mommy at our house. At the time of this writing, Connor is a very precocious five-year-old and loves being right in the middle of any project his grandfather and I are involved with. On one particular Saturday, as we were working on the finishing touches to a home renovation project—Connor’s mommy’s new beauty salon soon to be situated in our former laundry room—Grandpa was feeling frustrated. He had been looking for a missing bolt needed to attach the shampoo sink onto the wall. With annoyance in his voice, he inquired of Connor, “have you seen that large bolt?”
“No, Grandpa!” was Connor’s answer. He likewise asked me the same question and then our son-in-law, who was also helping. All with the same answer.
Since I had been trying to teach Connor that God ‘knows all things’, ‘sees all things’ and is ‘everywhere present at all times’, I popped up and said to Connor. “Connor, shall we stop for a minute to pray and ask God to show us where Grandpa laid the bolt?”
His brown eyes sparkled as he watched our faces. Grandpa, Uncle John and I joined hands with Connor and he prayed a simple prayer. “Dear God, please show Grandpa where the bolt is so he can finish my mommy’s salon. Amen.”
We all smiled. I looked at my watch. “Connor, how long do you think it will take God to answer our prayer?”
He looked up at me through his little moon-shaped glasses and shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know, Grandma?”
“Well—just for fun, shall we time it?” I smiled back at him and over his head, I winked at Grandpa. I checked my watch: “It’s now 10:45am.”
We all went back to the tasks we were attending before this incident interrupted us. I decided to head to the kitchen to make each of us a tall glass of iced tea—hoping it might help sooth my husband’s mood, since I could tell he wasn’t visibly comforted by our little prayer time!
A thought occurred to me. . .
Just as I was getting ready to carry the glasses out to the men, a thought occurred to me to check the junk drawer in the kitchen counter. You know—the one everyone has in their house—the one that holds old nuts, bolts, rubber bands, dead batteries, clothes pins, screwdrivers and tape, etc. As I pulled out that drawer, my eyes landed on a large metal bolt—the very one that was the center of attention! With a shout of glee, I hollered out, “I found the bolt! I found the bolt!”
Grandpa, Uncle John and Connor came running into the kitchen to see for sure if I had really found the ‘right’ bolt.
“Well, there it is!” exclaimed my husband. When I showed him where it was, he remembered exactly when he put it there! I suddenly felt a tugging on my shirt. Looking down I saw an amazed expression on our grandson’s face.
“Grandma, how long did it take?”
At first I did not comprehend what he meant. I leaned down and asked, “What do you mean, Sweetie?”
“Grandma, how long did it take God to answer our prayer?”
I checked my wristwatch. “Wow! Connor, it only took God 6 minutes to answer that prayer!”
“Grandpa, did you hear that,” he cried. “Only six minutes!”
Grandpa and I were laughing. So was Uncle John. Grandpa scooped up this grandson and gave him a hug. “We’d better say a ‘thank you’ prayer now, hadn’t we?”
We made another circle and this time we thanked God for helping me to see where Grandpa had laid the bolt. Then we all went back to work. Sometime later that day, Uncle John groaned that he couldn’t find a wrench he had lain down somewhere.
Connor piped up, “Oh no, Grandpa! I guess we gotta pray again. Look at your watch!”
As grandparents, with strong faith foundations, God has entrusted my husband and I to demonstrate His love and character to our grandchildren.
Year 2016: Connor is now 18 years old and he no longer lives with us. He is holding down a full-time job in a fish cannery in a small Alaskan town—hoping to earn enough to buy his first car. Time sure flies! He is no longer that innocent little boy—and his journey of faith is not finished yet. This short story is one I recorded in one of my journals 13 years ago. However, it pointed out afresh to me, just how much our relationship with God influences our children and grandchildren. In the busyness and frustrations of everyday life, our interactions with God, naturally and spontaneously (or not!), will set an example that, one day—on their own, they may hopefully, emulate. Connor, below with me, still asks me to pray for him. (I’m not sure just how much he prays for himself or others–but he knows God hears and answers prayer!)
As grandparents of nine precious grandchildren, ranging in ages between 2 1/2 years old all the way to 18 1/2years old, we are ever mindful that our ‘parenting’ hasn’t stopped—it just stepped up to the next level—the ‘grand’ stage—and that is pretty special! As grandparents with strong faith foundations, God has entrusted us to demonstrate His love and character to our grandchildren, to bless and encourage them to stand strong in the storms of life; to flee temptations; to practice forgiveness and grace within their family circles and beyond. He has given us this particular role for a ‘grand’ purpose, which includes listening to them; being there for them, helping them remain stable in unstable situations at school or in their homes. But perhaps the most important role of all is to pray faithfully for them—expectantly for them–knowing that these seeds of prayer will one day yield a harvest of blessing in the future.
Linda K. Bridges
Linda is a career missionary and Bible teacher for more than 35 years, having lived for extended periods on foreign soil in both Austria and Thailand. Through her ministries she has traveled and taught the Bible in more than 20 countries, most recently in Nepal and Ukraine. She is also an author and children’s storybook illustrator and loves painting, writing poetry, and blogging. Read more of Linda’s posts at www.writing4funblog.com.