Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Grandmother's Disappointment

Recently, I came across a true story about a faithful grandmother which I would like to pass along to you. The story talks about how the grandson turned his back on the faith she worked so hard to instill in her son and later, her grandson. I don't have all of the details of how this happpened. However, I think I can expand a little on information which I do have available to me. I think its an important lesson about turning your back on the faith taught to you from an early age.

Based on the information I do have about this account, I think that a conversation which the grandma would have had with a friend of hers would have gone along these lines:

GRANDMA'S FRIEND: "How are you doing today? You look like you've been crying. What's wrong?"

GRANDMA: "Its my grandson. He has turned his back on our faith. I am so heartbroken."

GRANDMA'S FRIEND: "When did this happen?"

GRANDMA: "It came out after his father, my son, died recently. You know that my son was leader in our community. My grandson accepted the fact that people would look to him to take over that role. But when he seems that he lost his mind."

GRANDMA'S FRIEND: "Why? What did he do?"

GRANDMA: "First, he fired all those nice young men who served down at the worship center as the hospitality committee. It was their aim to make those attending services feel warm and welcome. Now, they're gone. But if that weren't enough, he is going out of his way to find pieces of godly art which his father donated to nearby worship centers and then....destroy them."

GRANDMA'S FRIEND: "This is terrible. Why is he doing this?"

GRANDMA: "He says it has something to do with his great-great grandfather (on his father's side, definitely not my side). My grandson learned about this guy years ago. For reasons I will never understand, my grandson thinks he was a great man. Really, that man was a religious nut. And now my grandson wants to be just like him. This is simply breaking my heart."

GRANDMA'S FRIEND: "I am so sorry. What can I do?"

GRANDMA: "Thanks for being such a good friend. What really breaks my heart is that after all those years of teaching him our faith, he wants nothing to do with me."

GRANDMA'S FRIEND: "Oh no. How do you know that?"

GRANDMA: "He told me. Remember how my son would come to me for advice about being a leader in the community? Well, my grandson told me, straight out, that he rejects my faith and rejects me. He said he never wants to ever hear any advice from me, ever again. I'm so heart-broken. How do I go on?"

Well, that sums up the account. How many of us have experienced what this grandmother did? However, if you're a Christian, you see the grandson, not the grandmother, as the hero of this story.

I mentioned earlier that this is taken from a true account. It is. The account can be found in 1 Kings 15:8-14:

And Abijam slept with his fathers and they buried him in the city of David; and Asa his son became king in his place. So in the twentieth year of Jeroboam the king of Israel, Asa began to reign as king of Judah. He reigned forty-one years in Jerusalem; and his mother's name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom. Asa did what was right in the sight of the LORD, like David his father. He also put away the male cult prostitutes from the land and removed all the idols which his fathers had made.He also removed Maacah his mother from being queen mother, because she had made a horrid image as an Asherah; and Asa cut down her horrid image and burned it at the brook Kidron. But the high places were not taken away; nevertheless the heart of Asa was wholly devoted to the LORD all his days.

The grandmother was Maacah. The grandson was Asa, a godly king of Judah. The "religious nut" was King David. (Hopefully, the other parallels are not too strained). The faith on which Asa turned his back was the Baal and Asherah worship embraced by his grandmother. It was most likely a family religious tradition. Asa was probably raised to think that this was proper and normal. Yet, somehow, he embraced the faith of his ancestor David.

Perhaps your family religious legacy is what the apostle Peter described as a "futile way of life inherited from your forefathers" (1 Peter 1:18 NASB). When one turns to Christ, they do indeed turn their back on the family's religious legacy if Christ was not a part of that legacy. For such a person, turning to Christ may severely disappoint your grandmother. Yet, in heaven, the angels of God rejoice (Luke 15:10).

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