Do you ever wonder what you will leave behind for your loved ones? Maybe you haven’t thought about it. Or perhaps you wonder if you will leave behind anything good.
The longing for heaven gets stronger in us the older we get. And we do think about the day we are no longer here anymore. But here’s the thing: no matter how old we are, we should think about what we’ll leave for our loved ones. There are no guarantees for tomorrow.
No matter what, we will leave something behind. I’m sure that you, like me, want to leave something good…something that will make lasting imprints on your loved ones’ hearts.
My dad had a strong faith. He had not been brought up in a Christian home and alcoholism was passed down in the generational line. When I was little, my mom would get up every Sunday morning, dress all four girls, and take us to church, while my dad slept in.
It began to weigh heavily upon my dad’s heart. At the bar one night, he decided to call a pastor friend of his. He wanted something better for his life – to be a better example to his family. This pastor friend invited him over to his house, and that night my dad gave his heart to Christ.
From that moment on, my dad never wavered. His faith remained strong and solid. He trusted God with everything. He loved Jesus with his whole heart. The day before he died, as he faded in and out of consciousness, I asked him: “Dad, who is the first person you’ll see when you get to heaven.” I thought he might say “Lori,” his daughter and my sister, who died 6 years prior. But he didn’t!
He said, “My Savior!”
People have often said to me that I have a strong faith. I believe it was passed on to me by my dad.
Shortly before my dad’s death in 2011, my sister came back to Christ. After his funeral, my mom asked her if she would like my dad’s Bible. She gladly accepted it. This is the Bible she carries to church every Sunday.
Often when she opens it to the passage the pastor is reading from, she sees that my dad had it highlighted or underlined. I’m not sure anything moves her quite like this. I was sitting beside her one Sunday, and she smiled as she pointed to a passage my dad had highlighted.
Needless to say, my dad passed to my sister the importance of the Word of God.
One of things I hope to pass to my kids is my relationship with Jesus. In fact, I journal a lot. I don’t do this every morning, but it has become a regular part of my morning time with God. I will read a verse or passage of Scripture, write it down, write out my prayer to God, and then listen for Him to speak.
He does speak!
I write what I hear Him say. It’s an awesome way to understand the heart of my Lord. He speaks directly to my spirit.
I have told my kids that they can find those conversations with God in journals on my bookshelf in my Prayer Room.
Maybe one day, they’ll be fishing through stuff and come upon my journals. And if they sit down to read them, they’ll certainly see a love relationship between Jesus and me. They will read what He said to me.
Something tells me that they will be touched by the hand of God.
If we seek to put God above everything else in our life, spend time listening to Him and obeying His Word, then we are sure to leave a lasting influence on others’ lives, both now and when we’re gone.
There are lots of things we can leave with our loved ones: a bitter spirit, anger, criticism, judgment, insecurity, bad habits, and the list goes on and on. These things will not enhance our loved ones’ lives, but will hinder them from living joyful and contended lives.
Paul said to Timothy: “I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you” (2 Timothy 1:5).
You can start now. You may be the first in your family to do it and you may not have any support. But God will honor it. He always does. Your loved ones may be walking far from the Lord and you think there is no chance of them changing their ways. I know where you’re coming from.
But, be consistent and faithful. Keep pouring yourself into God and trust Him for the rest. In the end, your commitment will pay off and God will come to your rescue and to those you love.
So, what will you choose to impart into your loved ones’ lives? Ponder it! Ask God to help you! And keep running the race with your eyes focused on the finish line. Choose to let go of the bad things, and embrace the good things – the things that will impact others’ lives.
Pass this on.