My Grandpa Lichty had a knack for telling stories. He remembered an amazing amount of details and something always reminded him of a story. The details he shared were so vivid that no one would ever dream of telling him maybe one of the facts was not true. I remember listening to him telling story after story, but I do not remember the stories. I can still hear his voice, but the stories have long since faded from my memory, which makes me very sad. Even if all the details were incorrect, it would be so nice to share some of those stories with our daughters. What I can share about my Grandpa is his love for his family and his dedication to the Lord which I saw through his tireless service at the church.
Throughout Scripture, we are reminded “not to hide them (God’s Word) from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.” (Psalm 78:4). I am amazed at how often God encourages us to talk about Him and His glorious deeds. Repetition equals importance. God reminds us frequently through different authors the importance of sharing what God has done or is doing in our lives.
“…You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-7). I often wonder what caused the corruption of complaining as the Israelites wandered in the desert after their miraculous escape from Egypt. I wonder if the Israelites had been so busy talking to their children about the great things God had done for them while they sat around the campfires, walked on the pathway of sand, got up in the morning, ate their meals, went to bed at night…if they would have had time to complain about the myriad of things they found to be unhappy about. When we rejoice over the goodness of God, the difficulties pale in comparison. The joy in our hearts bubbles over with such gusto that complaining and negativity become unwelcome bedfellows. The sound of our own voice complaining tastes like the bitterness of sour milk to our souls.
Why is it so important to talk at all time in all situations about what God has done? “…Which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children so that they should set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.” (Psalm 78:5-7). As we read the Old Testament this is seen repeatedly. We see that those that forgot the works of God and did not share those great moments with their children were corrupted by sin.
As we marvel at the good things God has done in our lives, it serves a dual purpose.
First, our children hear us talk about the effect of God in our lives. What God is teaching us. How we are growing. How God is convicting us of sin. How we are growing through the situations we are put in and how to practically apply the truths of scripture in our everyday lives. It will be so much easier for them to follow the Lord on a daily basis if they see it lived out in front of them on a daily basis.
Second, it serves as a reminder to us about how God is working and has worked in our own lives. I have a failing memory, and I think if we were all honest with ourselves we would all admit this is true. Yet, as we rehearse the goodness of God, the work of God in our lives, and the transformations that have taken place in our lives because of our walk with God; it would remind us no matter where we are, God is with us.
“And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (II Timothy 2:2). It has often been repeated, “We are one generation away from apostasy.” It is not for lack of churches, lack of Bibles, or lack of Christian literature.
Rather, it is for a lack of authenticity, lack of hypocrisy, and lack of intentionality.
So where do you fall? It is not just our children we should be sharing with. Barnabas shared with Paul. Paul shared with Timothy. Are you sharing all the great things God has done? Or is your walk with God a ritual rather than a living, growing relationship with your Savior? Maybe we can evaluate ourselves by our words.
“We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for your name is near. We recount your wondrous deeds.” (Psalm 75:1).
So if I could eat some corn-on-the cob with Grandpa right now, I would share with him all the great things God has done in my life and in the lives of our daughters. Would he feel his legacy of service and love for the Lord was carried on and the seeds he planted lived on to the fourth generation and then would he say as only Grandpa can say, “Well, Danna, let me tell you…”