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She wasn’t happy about the way it happened, but when her grandchildren were young, she needed to care for them after school. She was not a warm, fuzzy grandmother type. How could she do the best job with her grandchildren while still being true to who she was? Some days they went for nature walks outside. Some days, they did craft projects. Of course, some days were filled with homework. So often, we feel we must fit a caricature of what a grandmother looks like to be a good grandmother/grandfather. (This story was a fictionalized story, written for purposes of illustration.)
In this passage, being a good grandparent means passing on God’s wondrous deeds to our grandchildren. How do we stack up there? Writing this post has shown me that my plans as a grandparent have not gone as well as I hoped in this arena. I have not done well. I’m glad I still have some time left. In thinking about this, here are some of the questions I have asked myself.
Here are some good points to mention in talking to your grandchildren…but we must do it as a way of connecting to their interests as well. It can be difficult sometimes.
Have we done a good job of passing on to our grandchildren the ways God has been powerful in our lives? How has he answered prayer? How has He brought about changes in the lives of our family history in order for it to survive in the way it is today?
These might be good topic for your next family meal. You might want to write down some of the things you know about that you have heard from your parents and grandparents so you can pass them on to your children and grandchildren that you may never have told them before.
O God, from my youth you have taught me,
and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.
So even to old age and gray hairs,
O God, do not forsake me,
until I proclaim your might to another generation,
your power to all those to come.
Psalm 71:17-18 ESV
Don’t forsake me until I have proclaimed your might to the next generation
How often do we struggle to figure out how to communicate to our children and grandchildren the truth of what we are learning in our old age as we put together all we have learned over our lifetime. Somehow, they think we are stuck in the same place we were when they lived with us at home. But they have changed over the years since they moved away and so have we. Some of us have changed more than others. But still, we all change.
By virtue of the fact that there is caregiving happening, there has probably been some more dramatic changes happening at your home. Hopefully, you are learning to express your faith more; to trust your heavenly father more for your needs as you face needs you never did before; and maybe your faith is becoming more of a living, breathing reality to you than it was before.
If this describes the kind of changes taking place in your life, and it might not, this may describe a prayer you are praying. If it doesn’t describe how you are feeling, hang in for some of the other days in this series. There are going to be a mix of responses as we struggle to adjust to this reality of caregiving.
Maybe you are praying, “O God, don’t forsake me!” because it feels like he already has.
In fact, right now, you may be concentrating on the part of the prayer that says, “O God, do not forsake me…” because you feel forsaken by God in your present situation. I’ll speak to that feeling of being deserted and alone in the next post. If you are a child of God who has trusted Christ alone for your salvation, He has not deserted you.
If you haven’t trusted Him yet, He is as close as your ability to speak His name. The fact that you are wondering if He is near or if He has forgotten you may be a sign that He is calling you to Himself. Become a seeker after God and He will find you.
Come to Him and bring Him your pain.