Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer
I have lived long enough to grow perspective. It’s like looking back after a long walk or drive, and seeing your starting place from a completely different viewpoint.
That kind of perspective comes only with distance, age, or experience.
In my young-adult life, my prayers and favorite Bible verses focused on reminding God what I wanted and thought I needed. They sounded like, “Please, please God, oh please give/let/make/take …”
Years later, through times of deep sadness, I focused on scriptures that strengthened me and encouraged me. A close friend told me to find “handles” in God’s word. Verses I could get ahold of and hang on to.
And now, I’m among people who often say, “If I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of my teeth/weight/finances.” But I’ve also noticed that my prayers and favorite passages have changed. There is more thanking than asking.
“Your will be done” is voiced more often now and rings with a deep undertone of knowing God will get it right even if it’s not what I wanted.
Perhaps this new understanding is the connection between so many children and their grandparents—between those who are open to suggestions and those who have been there, done that, got the prayer scars on their knees. Those warriors know things. They know that life is often hard, but they’ve come out the other end of the valley. They’ve seen God’s faithfulness, and they are there urging the young ones to “find a handle in God’s word and hang on.”
This is not to say that parents can’t do the same thing, but parents are busy raising those kids. They are in a different time of life, yet blessed are the children whose parents live out their faith day-to-day.
However, so often the faith-talkers are the grandparents. They carry around that growth on their heart called perspective.
September 10 is Grandparents Day in the US. Let’s acknowledge our grandparents for the lives they’ve lived and the wisdom they’ve shared. They’re not perfect, but they have battle scars more valuable than perfection.
If you don’t have grandparents that you can visit or call, find someone to fill in for them. Nursing homes are full of forgotten souls who have lived long, rich lives. Or perhaps you have an aunt, uncle, or neighbor you could honor. And if these people in your life haven’t made the best of choices, find opportunity to tell them you love them and that Jesus loves them even more.
Watch out for perspective. It is a priceless gift that grows when you’re not looking.
I remember your genuine faith,
for you share the faith that first
filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice.
And I know that same faith continues strong in you.
2 Timothy 1:5
Discouraged, Martha sank into the leather chair and faced her sister-in-law. Not long after Livvy and Whit married, Martha had left for school. She’d not had much chance to get to know her brother’s wife, and she steeled herself for an inquisition.
Instead, a kind smile settled in Livvy’s eyes and she said nothing but simply waited, unhurried and unflustered.
Martha sucked in a broken breath. “I have no life.”
The declaration informed Martha herself as well as Livvy. She’d not faced it head-on, but as she sought to explain, she realized the depth of her problem.
“I have no husband, no children, no substance.”
Livvy folded her hands on her apron and looked out the window over Martha’s shoulder. Her yellow hair reminded Martha of her deceased husband, Joseph. They could have been siblings.
“I am not surprised you feel that way.” Livvy took in the same ranch land that Martha had regarded earlier. “When I first moved here, I was running away from the mundane life of a preacher’s daughter entombed in a city. I longed for something else, I just didn’t know what.”
Her gaze shifted to Martha. “Until I saw the ranch and your brother.”
A reactionary huff. “You knew Whit when we were all children.”
“Not the Whit he became as a grown man.”
Martha still considered him an overbearing big brother, though she’d tried to cut him free of that image.
“But it was more than that.” Livvy continued. “I took care of Pop, fed the crew here, tended to the garden and chickens and canning and cooking. I had a sense of purpose and felt needed. Like I belonged.” Her focus returned to the window. “And I had your mother’s encouragement to trust the Lord with my heart and stop trying to figure things out on my own.”
Shame bent over Martha and breathed heavily down her neck. She’d not listened enough to her mother’s counsel. Usually she bristled against it.
“I know you see her differently than I.” Kindness softened Livvy’s laugh. “I certainly don’t view my own mother with the same regard, and for that I confess my sin. It’s often difficult to see a parent’s wisdom when you know their weaknesses so well.”
Martha’s back eased, the tension in her shoulder lessened. Whit had made a good choice for a wife. ~Romancing the Widow, winner of the Will Rogers Gold Medallion for Inspirational Western Romance
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