Thankful Thursday...Godly heritage...

I've always loved the Steve Green song "Find Us Faithful"...

We're pilgrims on the journey
Of the narrow road
And those who've gone before us line the way
Cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary
Their lives a stirring testament to God's sustaining grace

Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses
Let us run the race not only for the prize
But as those who've gone before us
Let us leave to those behind us
The heritage of faithfulness passed on through godly lives

After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone
And our children sift though all we've left behind
May the clues that they discover and the memories they uncover
Become the light that leads them to the road we each must find

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave
Lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
~Jon Mohr

I have such a wonderful godly heritage of faithfulness in my parents.  They taught me from a very young age,  
by word and example, so many godly virtues, including faithfulness and 
dependability.   I was reminded of that...and the impact it has had on many others as well...
last night.

Adult choir rehearsal is just about my favorite hour of the week.  It has been ever since I 
started singing in the adult choir at FBC, Conway, when I was 14.  It's a break from the cares of the 
world for one little hour a week, it's fun, and it's one of the places in my life where the 
Lord works directly in me the most.    

That said, Wednesdays are hard.  Trying to squeeze all the normal demands of a day into a 
"short day", getting four kids (and mom) ready to get there on time,  and then children's 
choir....there are Wednesdays I just don't feel like I have anything left by 7:15.   Yesterday was 
one of those days.  I was exhausted and not feeling the greatest, Billy had had to work late and
hadn't gotten to come to church, I was going to have to make a run to the Supercenter on the 
way home, and Peter had hurt his ankle during RAs and I really wanted to get him home.  I 
was *really* tempted to go home.

But, I didn't.  Sunday is Easter, after all, and I needed to be there to prepare. 
I worried about the elderly friend that sits next to me needing help, and my children would 
have been *soo* disappointed to miss choir kids. :)  I've had to miss several times lately due 
to physical issues, and I hated to miss any more.

I said a quick prayer on the way across the courtyard..."Lord, I don't feel like going, but I 
need to.  Get me through this, please?   And I could really use one of those "bless your socks 
off" rehearsals tonight..."  Choir members...you know the kind?  The ones when you are really
"on your game" all night, hitting every note, making every rhythm, holding every sustained 
note perfectly?  And the ones where the music just grabs your heart all night and you can just hear 
God speaking to you through every song?   

It wasn't a bad rehearsal...one of those where you can't hear your part all night and feel like 
your voice sounds like sandpaper or a flat violin.  But it wasn't one of those great ones, either. 
I missed notes I shouldn't have missed, I was distracted when I needed not to be, and I 
yawned my way through virtually every sustained note we sang all night.  I loved the music 
we were singing, but it wasn't "grabbing" me as usual.  Lyndel read a Psalm at one point that 
I loved, but had a hard time focusing on, making a mental note to "go back and read it later."  

It was almost over, and my thought was, "Well, God got me through it, so I'm thankful for 
that."  About that time, one of the men waved his hand that he had something to say.  My 
thought was, "Let's get this wrapped up and go home!"

Which is when God decided to bless my socks off. :)

He started talking about a song we'd done years ago...that he couldn't even remember the 
name of, but that reminded him of the song we'd just practiced for Easter.  Then he began 
talking about my dad, and how much the men depended on him back there, and that one 
night we were practicing this particular song, and he suddenly realized he couldn't hear 
Daddy any more...and he turned around and realized that there were tears streaming down his face. 
"Happy tears"...tears of joy in the music about our Savior.  

Then he talked about Daddy's faithfulness and how much it had impacted him, especially in 
those last months when they had to help him up into the choir loft each week.  

By that time, he was having trouble talking through the tears, and I had pretty much lost all 
my make-up.  There were a few other teary eyes as well.  

We talked for a few minutes after rehearsal.  He said, "I don't know if you ever knew it...most people  
didn't...but there at the end, he couldn't get up and down the steps at all.  We pretty 
much carried him...he got to where he'd crook his arms a little, and we'd grab one on each side 
and lift him up.  And you know....you just almost couldn't ever miss, because you'd think 
about him and the way he was still there, every week, as hard as it was."

I shared with him about a mutual friend who had told me around that time that she had 
gotten up one morning and just "didn't want to" go to church.  She was worn out and just 
wanted to stay home. "And then I thought about Foy, and I told myself, '______, get 
yourself up and get ready for church.  If Foy can get himself there every week, you sure can

We talked a little more, and he got choked up again talking about how much he loved and
 missed my dad.  A little later, he walked by and said, "I'm sorry," I guess feeling badly because I 
was still rather teary.  I told him not to apologize...that it's good to know others miss him, too.  

On the way home, I realized what  a blessing it is to hear how many people he impacted.  
Daddy was a relatively quiet, behind-the-scenes person.  His spiritual gift was definitely 
service, and he also loved teaching children.  But it's a sobering thought to realize that 
probably his greatest impact on those outside his family came in his last days...days when
he had multiple health problems, was legally blind for 18 months, saw his motor skills and 
balance steadily decline, and experienced pain most of us can't begin to imagine.  

So today, I'm thankful for a heritage of Godly parents.  I'm thankful for a mom who is still 
serving Him despite heavy blows in the past few years.  I'm thankful for people who 
remember my dad, and share those memories, and miss him with me.  I'm thankful for the 
reminder this week, as God has been working with me lately on this very issue of my own 
faithfulness and doing things that aren't always "comfortable", as well as the heritage I'm 
leaving for my children.  I want to carry on that heritage of faithfulness.  I'm thankful for 
others who are gone now, but who impacted my life greatly...Bro. Roy and Mrs. Jimmie, 
Miss Mary, Tom Stuart, Margie Clark, and so many others whose lives were "a stirring testament 
to God's sustaining grace." 

Most of all, I'm thankful for the Giver of that grace.   I'm thankful for this Easter weekend 
when we stop and purposefully remember the gift of salvation provided through the death, 
burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and for the reminders of God's incredible glory during this 




Denise said...

Such a precious post, love that song too.

Kecia said...

Oh, Jennifer, that was beautiful. I love the pictures of your dad, especially the one at the top. We are so blessed, aren't we?
And I agree whole-heartedly about choir!