There are trees that have been around for hundreds of years. Methuselah the Tree germinated before the Egyptian Pyramids were even built. Trees hold a special link to our past. Their experiences are what we now call history. As a tree continues to stand firm, it becomes the bridge to our future. Most trees will remain when we are long gone, spectacles for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren to marvel at.
Like trees, our families are a link to our past and bridge to our future. I often wonder about the history of my family, tempted to sign up for ancestry.com. I have no relationship with my father, he chooses to not be a part of my life. I know nothing about my father’s history, not even his medical history. I know I’m not alone.
I know some of my mother’s. I am a 4th generation American, my great-great grandparents migrated from Germany. But I don’t know much more beyond that. And it’s not so much just where they came from for me, it’s who they were, what they believed. It’s important, you see:
“The Lord is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation. ’ “(Numbers 14:18 NKJV)
And what type of legacy am I leaving for my children, and grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Am I living a life of pure faith in a Great God? Am I living with a stubborn heart, filled with the sin of unbelief that will haunt and taunt the hearts of those I love, and will love?
I’m living in the realization that not only do I have the power to effect the future of the church, but I have the power to break the sinfulness of the past of those who came before me. That’s a huge responsibility, and one that should not be carried without concern.
“That the generation to come might know them, The children who would be born, That they may arise and declare them to their children, That they may set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments; And may not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not set its heart aright, And whose spirit was not faithful to God.” (Psalm 78:6-8 NKJV)