Over the last few months of being pastor at Cross Timbers Bible Church I have had the joy of hearing from one of the men about his father who went to be with the Lord years ago. The impact this father had on his son - the gentleman from our congregation - cannot be overstated. At the age of 51 the father had a sudden heart attack. His son tells of going to visit him at the hospital, his father hooked up to all sorts of machines and tubes, unsure of his prognosis, and of being by his bed with tears falling down his face. His father put his hand on his head, and told him, "Son, it's all ok. If those are tears of sorrow, don't cry. If those are tears of joy, cry all you want." His father lived for 20+ years after this but there came the time when he was going home to be with the Lord. The son tells of how his father wanted the family around him at that time. How he wanted to be holding someone's hands at all times. To spend his last time here with those he loved most. The son tells what his father told him, saying, "Things are good with others. Things are in good in regards to my family. Things are good in regards to my Lord. Everything is as it should be, and everything will be ok." The thing that comes up most as the son talks about his father is what is expressed in these vignettes, that his father was a man of extraordinary faith and a man that loved others above all.
You know what? His son is the same kind of man. He is a man who trusts the Lord our God in the midst of all things. He is a man who loves others to a fault - if that is possible. He is a man who loves and serves our church wholeheartedly. He is a man of faith, living out his faith to all those around him. He is a man who is teaching the same lessons he learned from his father to his four sons.
A great article on the legacy of another great man, Jonathan Edwards, reads, "One hundred and seventy-three years after (Jonathan and Sara Edwards') marriage, a study was made of some 1,400 of Edwards' descendants, detailing what astonishing riches this family had contributed to the American scene. By 1900 this single marriage had produced: 13 college presidents; 65 professors; 100 lawyers and a dean of an outstanding law school; 30 judges; 56 physicians and a dean of a medical school; 80 holders of public office; 3 United States Senators; 3 mayors of large American cities; 3 governors; 1 Vice President of the United States; 1 comptroller of the United States Treasury. Members of the family had written 135 books, edited 18 journals and periodicals. They had entered the ministry in platoons, with nearly 100 of them becoming missionaries overseas.'
What a lesson to us about the legacy of our faith and love to and through our children. I can only imagine the legacy that will develop through this family in our church. Are we all aware of the spiritual legacy we leave through our children? Food for thought.