photo by Andre Ouellet, Unsplash

We don’t value our elders nearly enough. We tend to assume our generation is somehow smarter than the one before us; that our parents or grandparents couldn’t possibly understand the stresses we face today. When we don’t consider their counsel and wisdom, however, we miss a vast resource available to us.

“Is this the way you repay the Lord, you foolish and unwise people? Is he not your Father, your Creator, who made you and formed you? Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you” (Deuteronomy 32:6-7).

My grandparents are gone now, but they had amazing stories to share. I’m so glad I asked my two grandpas to record their life stories before they passed on. Grandpa Aebischer in a weak and wobbly voice, Grandpa Johnston in a deep and gravely one, told how God led them in family decisions, business ventures, provided for them through the depression, and gave them wisdom in relationship dilemmas.

I think about the lives my parents have lived and how faithful God has been to them through good and bad times. Too often I forget they have much to share: how they came to faith in Christ, how He has gotten them through the heartaches of life, how they learned to trust Him, how God has miraculously rescued them. And even how He has helped them grow through their mistakes.

God led my dad to his music career at just the right time and just the right place. When the old work truck stalled on the tracks as a train barreled toward him (with Mom and grandpa watching helplessly from the other side), Dad prayed in desperation and the truck roared to life. When it looked like my dad was going blind and the doctor offered no hope, he and Mom prayed and God stopped his eyes from getting worse. I love Mom’s stories about when she first gave her heart to Jesus, how He provided a way for her to get her Master’s degree; how He has directed her and continues to speak to her from His Word.

God has been saving, teaching, healing, comforting, and guiding since Adam and Eve walked the earth. When is the last time we considered asking for our parents’ personal stories? I know it’s been a while since I have. I need to hear more. They’re a wealth of inspiration!

If your parents are not followers of Jesus Christ, there are men and women around you who have experienced God’s touch on their lives. They would be thrilled to tell you what He has done for them.

The scripture above says: Remember. Consider. Ask. Remember how good God has been to you in your own life. Consider the wonders he has done in the generation before. Ask them to tell their stories.

In turn, we need to be prepared to pass our stories on to the next generation. That’s how we pass on our faith. I love the Bible stories about Moses, Elijah, Daniel, Joseph, Mary, Elisabeth, Paul and all the rest; I can’t wait to meet them in heaven and hear the details! But there’s something especially powerful about hearing about the goodness of God from people we know personally.

Something to consider.