Today I chose to read from my great-great-grandmother’s Bible. The pages are yellowed with age and the outside is worn but the truth in it still remains the same. I find myself reading Ecclesiastes 3 because it was written in the front of her Bible.
The Bible is marked “to Mama from Paul”. Paul is my great-grandfather. As I dug in, God’s word filled me with a sense of excitement. A small glimpse of my great-great- grandmother was revealed to me and God had a lesson for me to learn. I began to understand that she knew the Lord, and upon her passing, the Bible went to her son Paul and his wife Ruth. Ruth Ann Turner, Grandma “R.A.T.”, was my great-grandmother. Ruth also seemed to know the Lord.
In the Bible, there are things that my great-grandmother Ruth added when it became hers. There was a newspaper clipping about President Lyndon B. Johnson, prayers she cut out of things she had read, a couple of bookmarks and a page out of a devotional. On the devotional page, someone named Minnie had written a note to my great-grandmother Ruth. It said,
“This is for your own self. I just read this and it made me think of your life. Your smile does bless lots of folks.” -Minnie
There were a few generations between my great-grandmother and me that became unfruitful soil. Holding this Bible, their Bible, I understood that I needed to pick up where they left off. I realized that I have been given a chance to water what was once planted and then neglected for a few generations.
In God’s perfect timing, I found myself in Ecclesiastes 3. I was reading what either my great-grandmother or great-great-grandmother felt was important enough to write in the front of this Bible.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
In this passage, I see that it is time for me to make a change in my own family to prepare for the generations to come. I want to leave a legacy of faith for my children, my grandchildren, and my great-grandchildren.
My kids know the Lord, but I don’t want to settle for that. I want to dig in and turn over the ground, pull out the weeds, and water the seed that was planted by my great-great-grandmother and her daughter-in-law all those years ago. I want to leave behind a legacy of faith. To have people remember me as a woman who loved the Lord with her whole heart, that is what I long for. It is so important for me pass my faith onto my kids and the generations to come.
As you are reading this, I hope you want the same thing for your family. Do you want to leave behind a legacy of faith? Then start with your own kids. If there’s neglected soil in your family, even if it has been left for generations, you can make a difference. Dig in! Tear out the weeds, plant your own seeds, and water them. Tend to them and grow something beautiful. Plant a legacy of faith.