1 Samuel 3:8-9 “So the Lord called a third time, and once more Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” Then Eli realized it was the Lord who was calling the boy. So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went back to bed.”
When we are on the road in the beast or working out of town, sweetheart and I make it a point to attend a local church. If we have learned anything from our walk with God it is that He is in attendance anywhere that three or more are gathered in His Name. We have never been disappointed in our Sunday morning church choices, mostly because we go there to meet God, not to be noticed or worry about denominations. This last weekend we attended University United Methodist Church in San Antonio, TX. A stunningly beautiful chapel with awe inspiring stained glass windows that share the story of the Bible, a cross shaped roof and magnificent organ greet you as you walk in. You can’t help but see His Hand in the entire building.
The message on Sunday was one that hit very close to home. It is becoming increasingly apparent that due to the lack of inter-generational relationships, those of us who “have been there, done that” are losing touch with the generations that need our wisdom the most. Sweetheart and I talk often about the lack of connection between generations in our very own family. Conventional wisdom tells us that once they are out of our home all we can do is pray. But Godly wisdom tells us that we are called to do more than pray. In Titus 2 the things we are called to do for younger generations does not say only our own children! We are called to minister to those younger than us, to teach them and train them. It doesn’t say “only the ones you like or only the ones you are related to”.
What does this inter-generational teaching look like? For me it is committing to a 30 day texting study of Proverbs with my granddaughter who is 4 states away but who has a cell phone. It is volunteering to teach a cooking class at a local ministry for young adults getting ready to age out of the foster care system. It is writing and sharing my failures as well as my successes with my children and grandchildren (and you sweet readers!) For you? There are as many different ways to teach and train younger women as there are grains of sand on the seashore! A weekly Bible study for young girls in your living room? A weekly letter full of praise and wisdom to each of your grandchildren, your nieces/nephews, or children of a friend who is overwhelmed with life? Volunteering at Vacation Bible School? Teaching a children’s Sunday School class? Sponsoring a child to summer camp but going one step farther by writing a letter to that child about how much you will be praying for their time there? The list is endless in its variety and scope. Let God whisper where He needs you.
In the story detailed in 1 Samuel, Eli (the older man) has gone to bed. Samuel (the young man) hears a voice calling and assumes it is the voice of his master. Three times it happens and finally Eli realizes that God Himself is calling to Samuel so he tells the boy how to handle the situation. How often do we think only about Samuel in this story and fail to notice that without the older man’s prompting, Samuel would not have known what to do. Even though Eli was a broken man with even more broken children, God used him to teach the young Samuel the proper way to speak to God and await His instructions. Even in all of our flaws God can use us for good, even to the saving of a future generation. How powerful is this concept!
Dearest Father God, how perfect are Your ways. How magnificent is Your great plan for our lives. You guide our steps even before we start walking. Let us be mindful of those who come after us. Let us live in such a way that we can be used by You to teach and train. Let our experiences in life not hinder us but be turned into empathy and understanding. Show us who needs us Lord. Show us, remind us, nudge us, even trip us up if we are walking outside Your will. We love You Father God. Thank You for Your mercies that rain down over us. In Christ’s Name we pray, Amen
©Michelle Welch, team member of Breath Of Life Women’s Ministries
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.