Again, I ask the question: Why are we here? Right now?
I discovered another most important answer to this question this very week. Some context: my youngest here in Nashville called to tell me he had been diagnosed with appendicitis. As we waited for him to be taken to surgery, I texted our family to let them know what was transpiring. His surgeons were extremely competent, he had great care and was discharged the following morning; but that’s not the story. This is.
Each of my children and each of their spouses responded to that text. And each one of them said the same thing: “We are praying for him.” All my children and their families were praying for their brother! All of them specifically used the active verb, “praying.” We are told throughout scripture of the importance of our work as parents to teach our children. The prophets of old told us that we should teach them in the morning and in the evening of the words of our God.
I wish I could take credit for my children’s faith – but I can’t. It was all Sally. She prayed frequently and diligently for all of us. I can remember how passionately she prayed for our children and grandchildren. After her death I found a large stack of notebooks that she had kept from Bible studies and sermons for years. On the bottom of almost every page she had written, “Prayed for salvation for Michael, Tommy and Cody.” I am Michael; Tommy is her brother; and Cody is her nephew with whom she was remarkably close. At the time Cody was a non-believing Marine deployed to Afghanistan. She wrote lengthy letters to him every week, full of Scripture and encouragement for him. Before the end of her earthly life each of the three of us had journeyed to the cross of Christ and had declared Him as our Lord and Savior! As James wrote, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous (wo)man avails much.” (James 5:16b NKJV)
Why are we here? We are meant to teach, to encourage, to exhort our children and our grandchildren about the love of God, the salvation offered through grace, and the incredible powers of prayer. So that they may teach their children and grandchildren, so that they may teach theirs, as it is said, “through a thousand generations!”
My friends, teach your children well. And as we age (as I most certainly am doing) we can all realize why it is that we are here.
Michael. I came across your post quite accidentally and I have to say how proud I am of your accomplishments as a doctor but mostly as a Christian father and grandfather. It was so long ago that we met at LSUSMC. I am now living in Kansas City near my daughter and two grandchildren; boys age 24 and 6. I’ve been here a year and know that the lord gave me this opportunity to help shape them as Christian men. In fact my youngest is named Christian and Trevor my oldest. Ronnie passed away in 2014. I will be keeping in touch and reading your book. So very proud of you. Love. Miss Ann.
Thank you so much for your note. Let’s don’t even consider how long ago that was! You and your family will most certainly be in my prayers! M