Sunday, April 8, 2012

there are no more lost causes

My grandfather was a man who knew how to hold a wrench but not his temper. His entire life he dismissed religion as useless. I suppose he thought if it couldn’t put motor oil under your nails, what good was it?

His wife remained faithful, however. Every Sunday she took her five kids to church. And she prayed. She prayed every day for about forty years. Do the math. That’s more than twelve thousand prayers. Think of it as calling more than ten thousand angels for help.

She prayed every day that one day (will today be the day?) her husband would see his need for a Savior.

One day, one day, he did. And his life changed. He became gentle. Yes, my hard-faced grandfather—who smoked cigarettes outside in the Minnesota winter in naught but his tshirt—softened.

Just months after that: he died.

There is no such thing as a lost cause.

My grandmother lived on for many more years after that, but one day she was diagnosed with cancer. In the latter stages of her disease, she had the privilege of homecare.

In her final days, she made arrangements for her funeral. She asked if I would sing a cherished song of hers that spoke of heaven. I was honored.

One night she lay in her bed in the dining room. The table had been moved out so there was room for her to rest there. Her breathing became labored and irregular until finally she breathed in but not out.

She had passed to the other side of eternity, quietly.

Today I cling to the truth that if a man who lived 2,000 years ago can come back to life after death-by-torture, there are no more lost causes. Death used to be the last cause but no more. And, if death has been defeated, what may we say about hard hearts? Life finds a way. If rain is needed to soften the ground, let it rain. If a plough is required, I pray he cuts deep and wide.

I write this today because the prayers of my grandmother were answered concerning my grandfather. And the change in my grandfather wrought a change in me. I figured, if God can change his life, he can change mine. One day in the summer of 1984, he did just that. And he’s still doing it today. He does it for me, he does it for you. And he can do it for anyone.

Keep praying, keep hoping, do not give up. There are no lost causes.

"...we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." -Galatians 6:9b

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