Dec 1, 2020

I Shall Not Want

My grandmother passed away this past week.  She was 96 years old.  

In her last year or so, dementia had robbed her of many of her memories. 

Hit rewind and you will find a life marked by the power of God and His saving grace.

She married into a family that knew nothing about God.  Her father-in-law lived the life of a criminal, selling illegal substances.  And with that lifestyle came violence.  It led her father-in-law down the path to murder.  He killed a man in the front yard of their home.  He was sentenced to life in prison.  

My grandmother's husband followed his dad right into a lifestyle of drunkenness and violence.  He had his nose broken 5 times in fights that were fueled by the drunkenness and violence.  That was a way of life for our family.  No God.  No church.  No hope.  

That all changed one day when a man in our neighborhood saw how messed up and dysfunctional our family was.   He came to our house and asked if we would like to attend church with him and his family.  The response was no.  But the man didn't give up.  He kept asking and one day my grandmother said,"okay."  She told him if he would come by on Sunday, she and her son would go to church with him. 

And so for the first time, my grandmother and dad stepped in a church.  They heard how there was a better life with Jesus and that forgiveness and healing was available through Him.

My grandmother was the first one to say "yes" to Jesus.  My father was the next person to say "yes" to Jesus.  My mother and dad continued to attend church faithfully.  My grandfather wanted nothing to do with "church" or "God."  

My grandmother and father continued to pray for my grandfather's salvation.  When my dad reached his teen years, he was called to preach.  My grandfather agreed to come and hear his son speak.  People thought the roof would fall in if he walked in the door of a church.  But the roof didn't fall.  But what did fall was the love and grace of Jesus.  

At the end of the service, my grandfather walked to the front of the church, kneeled and ask Jesus to forgive him. His life was changed by the experience of being "born again."  He went on to serve the Lord as a deacon for over 33 years before going to Heaven. 

I go back to my grandmother.  For 7 years, she modeled the grace and love of God before her unsaved husband. That was a big factor in my grandfather coming to Jesus as well.

My grandmother was the first person in our family to say "yes" to Jesus.  And as a result of that, most of her family came to Jesus as well.  I am a part of her legacy of faith. 

Her last week on earth, my father stood by her bedside and quoted Psalm 23 with her.  Even in her weakened state, she began to quot the first verse over and over and over.  The words she kept repeating were "I shall not want.  I shall not want.  I shall not want."  

Those words have been on my mind since then.  What a great truth.  With Jesus as your shepherd, you don't have to want.  Even in our last days on earth, the Holy Spirit reminds us that He is with us.

I pray today that this will encourage you.  You may feel alone.  Going through something that is heartbreaking.  Facing what seem to be insurmountable odds.  Wondering if there is hope.  

Yes, there is hope and it is found in the Good Shepherd who will never leave you nor forsake you.  

Whisper even now the words "I shall not want" and you will find He can meet every one of your needs. Today and even one day when you are crossing over to the other side.

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