I am a self admitted instant gratification type of gal. Seeing rooms painted and lawns mowed might be my favorite things to do because things just instantly look brand new and fresh. So when something requires me to wait for a finished product, I get frustrated. Watching a slow progress or even no progress is what makes us give up on working hard, hence why sometimes after a week of eating healthy, I stuff a whole loaf of bread and a few bars of chocolate in my face. But just because we don’t see what we’re doing as being fruitful immediately doesn’t mean it’s not working.
My grandparents are two completely two different people. My grandma is sweet and studies the bible like Jesus is coming in about 2 minutes. My grandpa was ornery,and I’m not sure I ever actually saw him crack a bible open. His favorite thing to do was scare us and her favorite thing to do is to make sure we are always on the overfull side of hungry. There were countless times I’d walk in their house and grandpa would be asleep in his chair while grandma was in the other room fully surrendered in prayer. She prayed for everyone and everything but on the top of her list was that my grandpa would announce his salvation. A part of me wondered if grandpa didn’t do this sometimes just to bug her. See he was at church every Sunday, at every gospel singing, pitch in dinner, homecoming, and new pastor dedication but he never said those words out loud.
The whole time I’ve been here on this earth I’ve known this was grandma’s so desperate prayer, that she would get to Heaven and he’d be right there waiting for her, but she never pushed him. She knew that this had to be his decision and one that would be made when God felt it right. She worked every single day to show him God’s love. When he got gruff with her, she let it roll right off and just spoke to him even sweeter. She served him, loved him and helped him even when he probably didn’t deserve it. Her mission was simply to turn people to Christ, especially her husband. She reminds me a lot of Paul who just wanted to share the good news, no reward or glory but often met with push back. Paul shared with the people the glorious news he knew with a driven purpose. He was relentless in that this was his mission.
“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24
Then cancer marbled grandpa’s body and in the moment the doctor revealed just how overcome he was with disease, he spoke. In the time of the utmost despair and hopelessness, he testified and that hospital room turned from dark to light. He said he never knew why he hadn’t done it before, that he always believed and accepted God as his savior but never had the courage to just speak. It felt odd celebrating after devastating news like that but that’s exactly what happened. See we never understood why it never happened before, he didn’t understand why he had never done it before but God knew exactly what he was doing. The words he spoke were a sermon that was stored for decades. One that provided the greatest hope and joy.
“So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you” Deuteronomy 5:32-33
Grandma could have given up, and most would have but she stayed the course. She never once wavered on her commitment to praying for his salvation. She didn’t get instant gratification, in fact it took over 60 years to see her prayer answered. She did not relent just as God won’t. We all have times of giving up on something or someone we’ve been called to because we don’t think it’s doing any good. Whether it’s a spouse, neighbor, friend, stranger or our own kids, we have to stay the course even when we feel it useless. Tiny seeds of God’s love planted and cultivated over time will produce something so sweet. Some just take longer than others and need a little more care, but those are often the sweetest blessings here on earth.