Recently a family that is related to me came to church and brought me some information on my grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-grandmother. I had always heard that grandpa’s mother died when he was just a boy but I had never known that he was only 3-years-old when she died.
His older sister was 5 and his younger brother was 1. My great-grandfather lost his wife when she was only 24 and he now had three young children to raise. My great-grandfather gave up his children to his in-laws who raised them. He then, at some point, became a heavy drinker and had very little relationship with his children. I had always thought that he was just a selfish man that abandoned his family but that was not the whole story.
How devastating would it be to lose the wife you loved when she was only 24 years old? And in those days, how hard would it be for a man to raise three little children on his own? I’m not making any excuses for my great-grandfather, but I can see what he was trying to deal with.
In knowing his story I can actually feel sorry for what he and his children went through. The tragedy could have been that my grandfather would use his dad as an excuse to do the same thing and my dad would follow that example and ruin his life and abandon his children. Where would that have left me?
However, my grandfather did not use his dad as an excuse to ruin his life but he accepted Jesus in his heart and raised my dad to live a blessed life. My dad then passed down that blessed life to his family.
It is very important to know others’ stories, but that story will be repeated generation after generation until someone decides to stop blaming their past and change it by building a strong family unit with values that lead to a blessed life. I’m so thankful that my grandfather made the right choice; but how will those generations that are in a situation like my great-grandfather ever know that they have the ability to change the course of their lives?
These are the questions that we strive to answer at The Gathering Place Church on Sunday mornings at 10:30. Join us live on our website, gatheringplacewch.org or our Facebook page.
Pastor: The Gathering Place Church