Today is my Papa David’s birthday. He has been in heaven for many years now but I often think of him and reflect on how he had impacted my life.
I don’t know that he ever knew just how much he influenced me. Some things that I see in my life today I can trace back to his example and seeds he planted.
I was only 14 when God called him to heaven. There are Mama’s boys and Daddy’s girls (I know I have 2 girls & 1 boy) but I was Papa’s girl (my Grandpa)
I lived next door to my grandparents growing up, we all attend the same church and I would often go over on Saturday mornings. When he went to heaven it wasn’t a relative that I didn’t see often and didn’t know well.
No, I lost one of my parents that day and it was something that shook my world. But nothing is wasted and even this God used to teach me.
I knew without a doubt that my Papa was in heaven and I wanted to make sure that I would one day join him.
I had made a decision to accept God’s gift of salvation when I was 9 but I was a little girl then and only understood what a 9-year-old girl could.
The night of his service I wanted to make sure there wasn’t something I missed. Guess it’s always been hard for me to ask people questions so I didn’t talk to anyone (side note; I’ve now learned who I can ask all my dumb questions to and she still loves me, haha).
I grew up attending to AWANA so I knew enough to open my Bible. I began reading, searching and God, as awesome as He is, gave me a verse. This is one I cling to,
“if you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved” – Romans 10:9-10.
I also read Ephesians 2:8-9 that night
“for it is by grace you have been saved and not of yourselves, it is the gift of God- not of works, so that no one can boast”
It was these verses that assured me that there is nothing I had to do or even can do to earn salvation all I had to do was aspect God’s gift and I had done that. I know that one day I will see the face of Jesus and join my Papa David as we will forever worship our God.
If you ever hear me talk about my Papa David then you’ve probably heard me share my two most treasured memories of him.
The first one is that of going over to his house and finding him at the kitchen table with his coffee and open Bible. If he wasn’t quite done with his reading yet he would read the Bible to aloud to me.
This is a special memory and it has even inspired one of my paintings.
As a girl, I just loved spending time with him but today to look back at this and I can see the picture he gave me of a relationship with our God. The closer my own relationship becomes with God the more I treasure this memory.
I am thankful that I got to see this, and even got invited into this time, as a child. I hope it is an example that I can show my own children. I think is example has influenced my love for Scripture. My love for God’s word has grown as has my love for coffee (hehe).
Deuteronomy 11:18-20 says “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and your gates”.
Do you get the point of these verses? Our faith is not just to be seen on Sunday morning in church but every day!
Every day we should be telling our children about our God, feeding their faith.
Every day we are to be in God’s word and be that example of what a relationship with God looks like.
You might not think they see but they do, I did as a child.
Don’t think that this example has ended.
My Nana still lives out this testimony today. When I got to visit family last summer I went over to her house and just as I did when I was a girl I found an open Bible there on her kitchen table.
I am thankful for Grandparents who lived out their faith in front of me.
The Gift of Song
The other treasured memory of my Papa David is how he loved to sing, I can remember him singing hymns around the house. There are some that I can remember very clearly. I can even still hear his voice sing them in my mind as I sing them today.
I enjoy getting to sing these in church they have rich meaning in their words and they flood my mind with memories of time spent in church with my Papa as well as times of him singing at home.
I love a good worship song but I think we also need to pass these old hymns down to our children so that they are not lost.
Just a few weeks ago while singing one of these hymns in church I leaned over to my friend and told her “I can remember my Nana playing this one on her piano and my Papa singing it around the house”.
She smiled at me and whispered, “those are called ‘sweet memories’ ”.
These are the things I think about today as I remember my Papa David’s birthday.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of this legacy. Thank you that as a child I got to see what it is to have a relationship with you. Thank you that my Papa David took the time to read me your Word. Thank you for the many sweet memories that fill my thoughts today. Thank you most of all for Grandparents who lived their faith out in front of me every day. I pray that I can be this kind of example to my children and that they would find me faithful.
In Jesus name, I pray, Amen