Our Beautiful Heritage

"It's the sleep before midnight that counts." - Grandma Fredrick (1902-1991)

The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.”
 (Psalm 16:6)

One of the things I cherished as a child was going to my grandma and grandpa’s house. They lived in a larger town, at least compared to our little farm community. Staying with them, I would lie in bed at night and listen to the sounds of cars driving through their neighborhood, the occasional horn honk, a distant siren, and of course the neighborhood dogs. 

On the farm at night, you heard . . . well . . . nothing. On a very quiet night, you could faintly hear the train from a nearby town and even the neighbor’s dog a mile away. 

At Grandma’s, we could chase after the ice cream truck, pick up pecans in the backyard (which we finally realized one day was actually work), use our shoe skates on a smooth concrete driveway instead of crusty dirt and gravel, and as we grew, we could ride our bikes to the public pool. Going to Grandma’s was an adventure.

One of my favorite things however was sitting at Grandma’s feet as she sat in her crushed velvet swivel rocker in the living room telling us of childhood stories from so long ago. November 16, 1907 was her 5th birthday. It was also the day Oklahoma became a state—a date which I would easily recall in Oklahoma history class years later. I tried to picture her as a small girl and even tried to picture myself in her place as she told of everyday life in her youth. Her stories amazed me and she so delighted in telling them.  

I miss her terribly and long to see her again one day…and I will, for we shared not only the same genetics, but also the same spiritual inheritance. When she died, I received precious heirlooms and tokens that belonged to her. When Christ died, both my grandmother and I received the rich inheritance of all heaven and earth granted unto Him. 

“And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise” (Gal. 3:29).

Our inheritance through beloved family members is so very precious and valuable. From it, we receive wisdom and strength for our time and for the generations to come. As believers and joint heirs with Christ, I believe that more than any other type of inheritance, most important is that of our spiritual heritage.

“O God, You have taught me from my youth, and I still declare your wondrous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come.” Psalm 71:17-18 

I hope my grandma never tired in telling her stories repeatedly. Each time she told them, there would be something new she would remember, adding to the adventure. I also have wondered of the divine protection and spiritual blessings she summoned Almighty God on behalf of her children and grandchildren that still resonate through the corridors of heaven today. I hope I leave my own children and grandchildren a rich inheritance of a life lived fully in Christ.

Jesus Christ offers this same joy, amazement, and intercession when we come and sit at His feet. Though I try to read from God’s Word daily, there are times when I simply need to stop in the middle of the day just to listen to the thoughts, plans, and promises He has for me, as His Spirit brings His word to mind.  He encourages me with the stories of those who have gone before me and “sings” over me through the psalms. 

“For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome” (Jer. 29:11, Amplified).
“Thy loving kindness, O Lord, extends to the heavens, Thy faithfulness reaches to the skies” (Psalm 36:5).
Child of God, because of our rich inheritance, we not only have the lingering prayers of past loved ones and the Body of Christ praying in our behalf, but also we have the Holy Spirit who “intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Romans 8:26), and Jesus Christ, seated at the right hand of God the Father, praying ceaselessly.
I always said that if I were to leave this life today, the first people I would look for would be my grandparents, two of which I never knew. Yes, they will be among the first…but not until I behold my Savior and King. We have so much to talk about.
Beloved, I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.