(Lesson #4: Lessons I’ve Learned as a Grandparent.. and Am Still Learning)
As a grandparent with grandchildren who are old enough to have children themselves, I am confronted daily with the reality of my mortality. More than seven decades of life have passed by like a blink of an eye. What remains will be gone in a flash. Life is short.
That’s why David wrote in Psalm 39: “You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath.” Youth doesn’t get that. They tend to think of themselves as invincible and immortal. Rarely is any thought given to the brevity of life. But it is ever in my thoughts at this stage of life. Even if I live to be one hundred years old, what is that in comparison to eternity?
Because of the reality of the brevity of life, even if we live what we consider a long life, there is a limited amount of time given to us to fulfill the purposes we have been given by God and to tell another generation the truth about who we are, who God is and what He has done. I must take my legacy impact seriously—for good or bad. In the short time I have on this earth, what legacy will I leave to my progeny? My legacy impact will live long after I am gone.
David’s plea to God was to not let him ever forget how fleeting his life really is. Knowing how swiftly the years fly past, I have an earnestness I did not have in my younger years to seize opportunities. I do not want to miss an opportunity to speak a word of blessing, or pray earnestly for my grandchildren. I do not want to fail to share the good news of God’s goodness and grace. I want my grandkids to know that “this is the day the Lord has made—let’s find every reason to rejoice and be glad in it, no matter how dark it may be.”
Grandparents, we need to seize every moment we have to be intentional about speaking live-giving words to our grandchildren. I want them to understand the value of every human life and learn by my example how to love others as Christ has loved them. May the legacy that we leave be one filled with words of blessing. May our legacy shout “Christ is my all-satisfying treasure!” And because of that, may generations to come embrace the same all-satisfying treasure.
When the sun sets, I don’t want any regrets. I don’t think you do either.
Number Your Days
I challenge you to number your days… literally. (You can calculate yours on a website like 1HappyBirthday.com) As of today, June 7, 2020, I have lived 26, 288 days. If I live to be the same age as my father who is currently going strong at 95, I have approximately 8400 days left—a little more than the number of days it’s been since I started the Christian Grandparenting Network twenty-two years ago. If I only live to 85, I have just over 4700 days remaining (that’s less than 1/7th of my entire life). That’s not a lot.
Now, let me ask you this question: If you knew you had one week to live, what would you change about how you live each day? Why not make those changes now? Ask the Lord how you can “declare Your [God’s] power to the next generation, Your might to all who are to come” (Psalm 71:18).
What I believe about God is the most important thing about me. A. W. Tozer