I received my Grandma Polly’s Bible after her death.
In fact, it was just the next day when all her collection of Bibles were brought out and I was told that I could choose one. I gathered up the one she had been using most recently and glanced through it. There were lists of favorite hymns and meaningful verses handwritten on the inside flaps.
I took it home that night.
At which point, my children, who are too well acquainted with grief, melted down.
By the day of her memorial service, I was wiped out. After months of struggling through attachment issues, and now saying goodbye to a beloved grandmother, I was having a hard time keeping the tears from taking over my life.
So I sat on the couch and started flipping through her Bible.
She had all these verses circled in blue highlighter. I started reading them and it didn’t take me long to realize they were all marked for a reason.
Every verse mentioned the promise of God’s compassion, or blessing, on the children of the righteous.
And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. (Isaiah 54:13)
For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses. (Isaiah 44:3)
For the promise is unto you, and to your children, to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. (Acts 2:39)
Grandma told me, soon before her death, that her desire was for all of her children and grandchildren to know Jesus. She didn’t want to judge any who believed differently, but she also longed for them to know the Savior as she did. To know the presence of the Holy Spirit. To know the peace that passes understanding.
“I trust that God will reach them,” she said. And as I looked through her Bible, I realized why. She didn’t just make a wish, or think that chance would maybe smile upon her and give her what she wanted. No, she read and prayed and believed.
She never wanted to “change” anyone’s mind. She didn’t want to argue for her faith to be the “right” way. She just wrapped up her trust in who Jesus said He was and is and will be—and marked out the promises from that same Jesus over her family.
In Isaiah 43:5-7 it says,
Fear not, for I am with you;
I will bring your descendants from the east,
And gather you from the west;
I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’
Bring My sons from afar,
And My daughters from the ends of the earth—
Everyone who is called by My name,
Whom I have created for My glory;
I have formed him, yes, I have made him.
If your hope is in Jesus, that means you’ve been drawn by Him. It means His Spirit sought you out and called you to Himself.
One thing I’ve learned as I’ve been raising my children is that I can’t train them enough to keep them from sin. I can’t teach them enough to make them love God. I can’t put enough boundaries up to keep them in safety.
But I CAN trust that the same God who called me, who drew me, who sought me out– is calling to them too.
This is a hope that never fails. This is a place I can allow trust to build up & overcome fear.
So to all of you who have people in your life that you are longing to see come to Christ, whether it’s your children, your parents, a friend, or a neighbor–as you read Scripture and you see these verses that reference God seeking out and drawing forth, put your hope right there.
Right in Him.
Pray that hearts will be softened to hear and respond. And trust that God’s desire is for all to come to eternal life, so we know He will be doing every good thing to call them to Himself. Leave your hope wrapped up right in Jesus–where it won’t fail.