A few days ago when I was writing about the joy of family life I included a photo of my grandparents, my mother, an aunt and two uncles, taken in the late 1920s. Later as I reflected on that picture I thought to myself that my grandparents had no idea of what lay before them at this time.
Soon after this photo was taken the world would be gripped by the Great Depression (The Global Financial Crisis on steroids) and then would come the second Great War. They had lived through the first as children. Two of the children in this photo would emigrate: one to Australia, and later, one to Canada. The daughter (my mum) travelling to Australia would take the only grandchild (me) they would ever see.
One of the uncles in the photo would die of starvation in a home for people with special needs during the later years of WW2. This period was known as the “hunger winter”. My grandfather was incapacitated by heart problems and both grandparents would be dead before 60 years of age.
They did not know what the future would bring. One of my uncles, who was born just after this photo was taken, often reminds me that it was a tough time. But for all the seeming bleakness of this story there is a bright shaft of hope. These amazing people left a legacy of faith in their family. Despite the hardships there was a trust in God and His promises for His people and His Kingdom. They were faithful in bringing their children up in the knowledge of God and were members of a church.
Even though they had no idea of what the future would bring, they prepared their family as best they could, for it. All the people in this photo are now dead. Earlier this year my mum was the last to pass on. But I am convinced that they live on in the presence of God right now and their faith lives on in many of their children and children’s children.
We do not know the future either, but like my grandparents we do have the opportunity to sow seeds of hope and eternity.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children —
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts. Psalm 103: 17 & 18