I remember listening to my parents and their friends as a child talk about cultural changes that appalled them. My sisters and I were teenagers during the 60s and I know they spent many anxious days worried about our choices. We spent a lot of time listening to what seemed to be “lectures” concerning the evils that lurked, just waiting to pounce. As a know it all, I tuned most of it out. However, the good news is the foundation of faith and the Holy Spirit Himself, had laid in my young life, actually kept me safe from most of those “evils”. Looking back now, I wish my parents had released their faith in the God they had pointed us to, rather than focused on their fear. But, they did the best they could and all of us turned out well.
As I look at the world, my grandchildren are growing into, I understand my own parents’ fears and concerns because things are even darker than ever before. I face the same challenge to sit around and say “woe is me” or help build a foundation of faith in their hearts. They attribute Eleanor Roosevelt to the saying “it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness”. I could simply sit and wish for an easier season for them, but that is out of my control. As an older person, I want to continue to be a candle lighter. I must believe that with God, they will be able to navigate any darkness that comes their way. I pray for my children to have the wisdom they need to prepare their children for life’s challenges. If I look at the darkness, it seems overwhelming. But when I remember how the Lord brought me through, I trust He is more than able to do the same for them.
Psalm 90:16 Let us see your miracles again, and let the rising generation see the glorious wonders you’re famous for. TPT This is my heart cry. So my challenge to us today is to see our challenges of life as opportunities for our children and grandchildren to watch Him show up. Ask the Lord for His leading when to share your own God stories, no matter how large or small. If you don’t feel you have any, then ask Him for some.
This past week I had my second Covid injection. Due to many allergies, I did a lot of praying concerning getting the Covid vaccine at all. When I finally felt released to do so, I did it in faith. I still suffered some side effects for a few days. It was rough, but as I told someone, I am tough. Our children are tougher than we think as well. Helping them to understand God’s love, God’s truth, along with much grace and mercy helps equip them for their own battles. Mentoring them through their struggles is part of good parenting. I have watched my own children do such an excellent job of encouraging their children and teaching them about spiritual warfare in an age appropriate manner.
Yesterday, I had the privilege of praying with two friends:Faye Johnson, 82 and Eva Bunika, 80. They are both strong, but not as strong as they used to be. What do they have? Strong faith! Why? They have been through things. Talk with Grandma Faye, as she is affectionately called, about growing up as an Afro-American child in the south. She could be bitter because of some of the almost unforgivable unfair things she endured just because of her color. Stories she has shared with me are not easy to hear, but they are her truth. It was God and her parents who helped her love all people. Eva came to this country when she was 43 on a religious persecution visa in her communist homeland. The struggles and fears they endured were real. Read “Tortured for My Faith” by Richard Wurmbrand for some perspective. You may see an older believer and wonder who are they? Take time to find out. Their stories inspire me to stand strong. The Deborahs, Joshuas and other Bible heroes inspire us. There are some among us as well, who we can be inspired by as well. As we prayed together, it was precious and comforting. They choose to light many of their candles through prayer. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16 This is something we can all do.
Father, I ask you to help us to become candle lighters, rather than darkness cursers. It is easy to complain and lament about how things are, but help us release our faith to believe you are raising up strong warriors to go and do exploits. I ask you for more manifestations of your loving power to be shared. We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the Word of our testimony. Let us have many testimonies to share with other, including the rising generation. In Jesus’ Name, amen.