Living Up To The Light

Weekly Sabbath Survey
Living Up To The Light —  7-2-2016
When I was in my 40’s in an active preaching ministry, the Lord told me, “You’re where you are today because of the prayers of your grandmothers.”  I cried at the thought. Sometimes I felt more love and validation from grandparents than I did my parents. Never underestimate the value of Godly grandparents in the lives of young children. It has been said, “The reason kids and their grandparents are so close is they share a common enemy.” (The parents of the kids, who are also the children of the grands!) 
Although I grew up close with my paternal grandmother, she was very busy, very hard working and no nonsense. Her German ethnicity didn’t allow time for resting until the work day was over, nor little girls sitting around in frilly dresses looking cute. She gave us chores to do. She thought reading after you got out of school (eight grade like Amish kids today still do), was sort of a waste of time. She didn’t ‘get’ reading for pleasure. She read her Bible. Otherwise, she had too much to do.
My maternal grandmother was one of the godliest people I ever knew. She loved me dearly and her soft Southern ways were a blessing. She worked very hard in her younger years, had 7 children, and took care of grandpa when he was bedridden with strokes. When she spent time with us, she helped Mama with cooking and canning and worked in the garden. She was peaceful and calm, which was good for me and my Mama. The only sign she was stressed out was when her face got very red. Her demeanor or speech never changed. At times she just sat quietly with her Bible. And she was a great teller of Bible stories to two eager little girls. We loved her. We also loved the story of Samson and Delilah. But the all time favorite was the story of The Exodus. The Children of Israel set free from slavery, and that mean ol’ Pharaoh. In my mind, The Children were little kids, being forced to work making bricks. One day our granny told us (again) how Pharaoh told Moses those little kids could go home (no doubt to their loving parents that they missed terribly). But he changed his mind over and over. My little sister piped up and said, “Granny, that ol’ Pharaoh was a liar and a dumb-bell.” I was horrified, “dumb-bell” being the only cuss word I knew. But Granny laughed with tears rolling down her face, said, “You are exactly right!”  (Well, did you ever?!?)
Of all the teaching/wisdom dispensed by this remarkable lady to this grateful child, two things have really stuck with me. “Charlie, in your patience possess ye your soul.” She had uncovered my struggle with patience early on. I still remind myself of that verse at times to this day. The second thing was something she said if we were raking somebody over the coals. She would quietly say of this really stupid person, “Well, maybe she’s living up to all the light she has.” I always felt gently corrected and pretty embarrassed. I never forgot this was mercy, as opposed to whatever it was we were doing to the poor victim. 
Now, these many years later, I see it’s good to give others a break sometimes. Maybe they are actually doing the best they can, even when it seems like a most pitiful effort. It may be about the Widow’s mite, and being careful about judging someone else by my private yardstick. I have my strengths in God, but maybe He sees another person with strengths unlike mine or burdens much heavier than mine. Maybe it was easier for me to give A LOT MORE, and they gave just a little, but it was ALL they had.
This would make a very good prayer:  “Lord, strengthen me so that I can live up to ALL the Light you have given me. And lead me in mercy when I am looking at the lives of others.” It is a worthy GOAL for every person who names the name of Jesus and claims to be a Believer in The Way.
Jesus said, “This poor widow has given more than all the others. The all gave from their abundance; but she have everything she had. Mark 12:43-44


Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah                                                     
Copyright  March 2016
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