SIMPLE TRUTH: Only the Lord could do this!
By Charles Christmas
I took an unexpected and brief 1,600-mile drive to Kansas City, Mo. and back three weeks ago. My personal purpose for going was to see if the Lord might use me in the midst of urgent family needs. But in the midst of it all, the Lord has reminded me of what he has already done and is in the process of doing in my family. “Already done” and “in the process of doing” relates to three couples: my son-in-law and daughter in Memphis, Tenn.; my older grandson and his wife in Kansas City; and my younger grandson and his fiancée in Kansas City
I spent seven night hours in Memphis and left before day for Kansas City. Through 40 years, I have seen my Memphis couple grow in commitment to Christ, the church, the Lord’s people and in unconditional love toward each other, their two sons, three young grandchildren, and a daughter-in-law and her family. If I were free to give details of the struggles this couple has faced within their family—and still face—you would echo loudly, “Only the Lord could do this” to bring them to this day, and give them faith and hope for the future.
I spent two delightful days and nights in the home of my oldest grandson, his wife and two daughters. After early worldly and rebellious lives, both had first marriages end in divorce, leaving her a single mother of a daughter with the father having custody. Then these two married each other and produced my great grand-daughter. This marriage also experienced the shambles of divorce, with the father having custody of the child. Very difficult conflicts followed for this divorced couple. The divorced wife came under the influence of her mother, who had experienced a real spiritual renewal. Through this, God began to work in this daughter. A continuing transforming journey began and continues until now. This divorced grandson and wife who were living in separate cities—Knoxville and Memphis—are now reunited in Kansas City with the two daughters, ages 9 and 17. The couple are both working, they are buying a new home, the family is in church together every Sunday, family devotions are held daily, much peace is experienced and the husband is diligent in his goal of providing for a stable family. In my conversation with this grandson and granddaughter, she said, “Whatever may have been my past journey, today I know who I am in Jesus Christ.” The living testimony of her mother, the power of God’s word and the work of the Holy Spirit has produced this real and wonderful difference. This is a work of God in progress. We, who know much about this couple and their journey, all agree and lift our hands toward heaven, and say, “Only the Lord could do this!”
My youngest grandson was not born into a family with any prior commitment to Christ or his church or his word. He did experience love from his parents, but they did not lead him to church or in any home worship. But there were many positive things about him. During the upper teens and early college years, the worldly and fleshly desires gained a foothold on him. By his junior year at the University of Missouri, he and Campus Crusade for Christ had met each other. God used this relationship to begin to transform his life: even from a rock band drummer to a church praise band drummer. At the beginning of his senior year, he met a committed Christian young lady in “Crusade,” and the initial meeting has extended. He graduated as a civil engineer in May and was employed by an engineering firm three months prior. He was engaged to this young lady five weeks ago and they are to be married in January. For those of us who know, we can only lift our hands and proclaim, “Only the Lord could do this!”
In Psalm 118:23 it says, “The Lord had done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.”
So it seems to me that the Lord has very recently been saying to me, “It may be that I may work through you relating to some of your family’s urgent needs. But right now, I desire to call your attention to three great things that have already happened in your family, which only I could have done!”
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him: Psalm 37:5-6.
—Charles Christmas is a religion columnist for The Clanton Advertiser. His column appears each Thursday.