I Had Grandkids before I Had Children

Genesis 48

Tracey was rescued from a drunken foster parent who had taken her into his home to entice her to marry a cousin living in the Philippines. One night in a rage he began shooting up the house with a .22 rifle. She ran from the house and called me because I was providing counseling at the time. She was six months pregnant when she came to live with our family and stayed with us for the next two years.

Though my wife and I had not yet had children we were thrown into the swarm of roaring hormones and cravings. Tracey was still a child herself but was soon to be a birth mother. Her deeply scarred background meant many long hours of listening and support. On a Sunday night in the middle of a church service that I was leading, Tracey rose, went outside and headed to the hospital. Four hours later she gave birth to a boy and twelve hours later that boy was adopted out to a family in Portland.

For eighteen years we talked about that young baby as he grew in the far reaches of the Pacific Northwest. We prayed for him and for his adopted family. We prayed for Tracey, too, as she left our home and built a life for herself. Tonight as I was reviewing my sermon for tomorrow, I reached for and found a photo of the first time I met that same boy, Cory, as a young man of twenty. He was long, lean and very outgoing. He was headed to Cornell University to do his upper division bachelor’s work.

It makes me think of Joseph’s introduction of his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, for the first time to their grandfather, Jacob, . Having thought Joseph dead, it was a shock to Jacob to find his son as prime minister of Egypt. He is shocked all the more to discover he had two grown grandsons! His joy held no bounds as, in his old age, he was blessed twice.

One of the deep privileges we will receive when we wait on the promises of God is to discover how marvelously God has blessed our faithfulness. When we see that our life lived for God has blessed so many we will be shocked at how many “spiritual” grandchildren we really have. It’s one more blessing found in the life of grace.

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