Saturday, August 13, 2005

Look up into the stands...whom do you see cheering for you?

"These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 11:39- 12:1

As my husband was running this morning, he told me, he had a neat thought. Thinking on this verse, it occurred to him that his dad was among that great cloud of witnesses, cheering him on in the ministry work he does today. My father-in-law became a believer while in the throes of Alzheimer's. He saw the Jesus Film one day with my husband, and somehow it got through to him the horror of the whole thing. My husband explained that it had had to happen to take away our sins. Would he like to ask God to take away his sins and be made clean because of Jesus Christ? He would, and then he did. And then the window of consciousness closed again. But eternal life had begun.

For those of us in this world who feel like orphans surrounded by family members who do not know the Lord, the ability to think on even just one believer, even a distant ancestor, in the family can be a huge encouragement. Such believers are a family heritage, more precious than the material heirlooms that might be handed down to us to help tell us who we are and where we belong. They point us to what all the families of the earth are supposed to be about in the first place.

My mother came to the Lord late in life, but her life was a changed thing afterwards. I have a great-great aunt who gave up a comfortable, predictable life in Norway to come to the US to minister to the Norwegian seamen far from home on voyages. She founded a hospital in Brooklyn that still stands. My great-grandfather weathered the loss of a wife, and small son from cholera on board a ship he captained only through his faith in the sovereignty of God and His eternal goodness. There are others who might have been believers, but their faith was not something I beheld first hand, or heard of.

I pray that I will leave some writing behind that will encourage some discouraged young descendant some day to persevere in the faith, to keep his or her eyes on the prize. Oh God, give me a voice that they can hear in their race, and help me to use it to point to You!


Anonymous Anonymous said...


This made me think of the joy I felt when I found that among my ancestors were Huguenots who fled to America for their faith, and mostly of an obituary I found for my great-great-great-grandfather who was a circuit rider. His passion for the faith was described in very moving terms. It gave me such joy to think of those ancestors cheering from the stands, especially when my more recent ancestors were not believers, as far as I can tell.

I do love your blog, Sister. You think good thoughts.



6:55 PM  
Blogger craigellachie said...

Wow, now that's what I would call being an heiress to a rich earthly heritage!

11:16 AM  

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