The recent death of one of my Grandpa Shrock’s friends caused me to reflect upon my grandpa’s life and the standards that he, and men like him, set for their families. My grandfather was a hardworking man who loved God and his family. In addition, he was from a generation of Christians who believed in Christ’s atoning death on the cross, stood on the truth in God’s word, and led by example.
I have many memories of Grandpa’s spiritual leadership. Each year before we opened Christmas gifts, he read Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth to remind us of the true reason we celebrate Christmas. He whistled and sang joyfully, and I remember a Bible and devotional book on the breakfast table. Grandpa and Grandma often gave rides to people who couldn’t get to church on their own.
My grandpa spent his last days in a nursing home as cancer finished its work on his earthly body. One night when the family gathered at his bedside, he thanked God for blessing him and prayed a patriarchal blessing upon us before asking God to take him home.
Afterwards, I wrote the following in my journal:
Grandpa is ministering to us in his final hours, and he is setting an example of strength and courage that the workers in the nursing home find rare. The hope we have in Christ will shine through us until the moment God calls us home.
As the older generations pass, it is up to my generation to model godliness for those who come behind us. Yet today we face pressure to diminish the importance of Christ’s death on the cross, massage the truth in God’s word, and lead based on our feelings instead of the foundation set in the Bible. Surrendering to the ungodly trends of the world, even if they feel right, will not accomplish that purpose.
I give thanks to God for the Christian men and women of my grandparents’ generation and for the tangible example of the blessings that happen when people abide by the truths in God’s word. And as my generation drifts from the truth, I pray I will remain as faithful as those who have gone before me.