“I recall your sincere faith that first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and now, I am convinced is in you also.” 2Timothy 1:5. (CSB)
In Paul’s second letter to Timothy he states that Timothy’s faith grew from his grandmother and mother’s faith. I have seen a grandmother’s faith grow in my own family. My maternal grandmother, Nanny, was instrumental in my childhood as someone who loved me deeply and showed the love of Jesus to me.
Nanny and Papa were never rich in worldly terms. They never owned a house or a car. They worked hard all their lives. Nanny worked for a coal mine company store when I was a child and later had a corner store in her Bessemer neighborhood. She and Papa had a good-size garden every year to help feed not only the family but neighbors as well.
I remember summer visits with Nanny so well – Sunday and Wednesday meant church. It didn’t matter that she had worked all day on Wednesday, cooked three meals (homemade) and taken care of her grandchildren – it was Wednesday so we went to church. Saturday meant getting ready for church on Sunday – iron the clothes and polish the shoes. I mentioned that Nanny and Papa didn’t own a car – they didn’t drive at all. So going to church meant walking most of the time. Sometimes the pastor would pick us up, but I remember many long walks to church and back with her. I’m not sure how far it was in miles but it didn’t seem long because Nanny would tell us stories along the way. She always made sure we had a quarter for the offering plate.
From her I learned the values of getting up early, working hard and being generous. She was the first person in my life that I remember who truly had faith in God and demonstrated that faith by her life. Even though I didn’t always live a life that honored God, her example never left me. There was always a tug on my heart and soul that I think eventually brought me back to where I am today. Nanny was never rich as the world judges but she was rich in love and faith.
After my older brother, David, was married he accepted Jesus. He and his wife, Diane, went to tell Nanny and they said she responded with “I knew it. I was praying.” Never stop praying for the children in your life – even if they are adults now. Never doubt that how you display God’s love, grace and mercy on a daily basis will not be fruitful. It may take more time than you prefer but in God’s time you will see a result. Whatever winding path the children in your life may be on today your living example will remain with them.