God Has No Grandchildren

 

Every generation must make a rediscovery of the faith. 

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Without exception every one of us must find our way. It’s all part of life, all part of rediscovering the old paths. For some of us the bare dirt is harder to unbury than for others. 

I remember a time when my two brothers set out on an untested trail. My Oldest Brother had found some surreal scene in the middle of a state park and was trying to discover it again to show it to his Younger Brother. Only thing is that Picture Perfect Place turned more into a fantasy and less into a reality as they searched for it. All. Day. Long. 

The Oldest Brother had on sandals with these poky soles intended to give your feet a massage. The Younger Brother was a little more fortunate — he was barefoot. Through the rising sun and blazing heat they searched. They were not lost, however; this gorgeous scene was just unable to be found. The Oldest Brother had to take off his massaging sandals because the rocky road proved to be more comforting than the relentless rub. They finally discovered a cornfield (cornfields don’t typically grow in the middle of the woods of a state park.) After some searching, they found the farmer to which the cornfield belonged. And after about eight hours, I remember seeing them walking along the path to our trailer. 

They’d found their way, but it took some time. 

My grandfather used to say, “God has no grandchildren.” And also, “Every generation must make a rediscovery of the faith.” That ‘rediscovery’ can be slow and scary and messy and surprising. Sometimes we can get lost in the woods of our searching. The haze of our own reason surrounds us and tells us things are quite different than we’ve assumed them to be our entire lives. 

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Abraham stumbled to the summit of Mount Moriah and there proved God to provide. 

A starving Isaac traipsed his family to the Philistine’s Gerar and there the Lord made the same covenent to a second generation. 

A fugitive Jacob found a faithful God as his head rested on a slab of stone in the plains of Bethel.

Moses was startled by a burning shrub and the voice of God on the side of Mount Horeb. 

After the death of Moses and before the conquest of Jericho, the God of Moses declared Himself the God of Joshua.

An ordinary day of beating the wheat at his father’s winepress redefined the course of Gideon’s life when he spoke with the Angel of the Lord who was sitting under his father’s terebinth tree. 

A new discovery of an old scroll transformed the trajectory of a king and a kingdom when Josiah was just a teenager. 

These were mistake-making men found at ordinary places by a God Who is always faithful. And God’s truth and relentless love was proven to endure to every generation (Psalm 100:5). 

Along with my generation of siblings and cousins, I am winding through these young adult years, trying to unearth the trail that those who've gone before tested and tried and stuck to. We know there were footprints here before our own, but sometimes we strain to see their steps. My prayer for myself and the sojourners whose strides match mine, is that our feet will find the old path and plain dirt that our fathers found to lead Home.  

Lead, kindly Light, amidst the grey and gloom
The night is long and I am far from home
Here in the dark, I do not ask to see
The path ahead — one step enough for me
Lead on, lead on, kindly Light.

And in the night, when I was afraid
Your feet beside my own on the way
Each stumbling step where other men have trod
Shortens the road leading home to my God
Lead on, lead on, kindly Light.
— Audrey Assad (based on John Newman's original hymn)
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Merilee Barnard7 Comments