Shades of Grace: When Cousins Gather

With only a couple of weeks left, I plan to use most of the remaining posts for sharing how God’s grace has colored our family’s life in ministry … through the opportunities we have had to minister, through the churches we’ve served and the people who have loved us so well.

Today, though, I look back to “where it started” and I realize that God has used us and blessed us through the answered prayers of those before me. I love what Paul wrote to Timothy, “I recall your sincere faith that was alive first in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice, and I am sure is in you… You know who taught you and how from infancy you have known the holy writings, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus …”

Although I came to realize that there was no such thing as second-hand faith, I also certainly realize the spiritual wealth passed down to me from generations before me. I had to personally come into a relationship with Jesus, but God used the genuine faith of grandparents and parents in that process. I have aunts and uncles and cousins who have served the Lord wholeheartedly, who have given generously and cheerfully, and who have prayed constantly and faithfully through the years. I am very aware that I am indebted to those who spent hours on their knees in prayer for the generation after them. My children have sincere faith that was alive first in other family members before them… and they are recipients of that faith being taught and lived.

 

Several years ago, I passed on an idea to my mom and her first cousin about having Cousins Camp. The older cousins (the parents) would take a few days to spend with the younger cousins (the kids) in playing together, praying together, and staying together. It became an annual event that we all enjoyed for several summers. I also have such precious memories of Easters, Thanksgivings and Christmases with family. These have all been a blessing in my children’s lives … I could spend a post on each of these. The memories of singing around the piano, of my Papa King and my Mama Dawson and my Daddy telling stories, of kids’ skits, of buddy snacks, of games, and all the talking … and eating … and talking … and eating 🙂 All of these gatherings were highlights for our family.
 
For years now, we have lived far apart, but I am so thankful that we were able to pass on to the next generation that same love for one another and for Jesus. I am amazed to see the adults they have become. I sure miss living close, but knowing that they are serving and loving Jesus is the greatest JOY. Grandparents and aunts and uncles who have gone before us would be moved to tears to see the faith that is being lived out in those who followed them. I look forward to the reunion … where we will be with the LORD and “goodbye” won’t exist!

 
 
Thank You LORD for the amazing grace seen so clearly in my extended family. I know that many people have so much heartache and hurt when families gather. I am humbled as I recognize what a gift I’ve been given in the love and faith of my family.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we’d first begun.

 

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