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Faithfulness Lives On

From Psalm 103

My grandfather, Millard, holding my cousin (left) and brother (right).

I don’t remember my grandfather. I know I met him. My parents have a picture, only one, of him holding me as a baby. His name was Millard Lee Myers, born May 7, 1924. He died in August 1990 due to complications of type-1 diabetes. He was sixty-six years old.

Though I don’t remember him, I cherish every memory I’ve been told—even (especially) the quirky ones. Like the fact that he never wore a pair of jeans in his life. Mom said he even mowed the grass in slacks and a tie. And he never went anywhere without his trusty briefcase, loaded with two or three ripe bananas—just in case.

One of my favorite stories is of a family road trip to the beach. He pulled over to the side of the road to get something out of his briefcase (probably a banana), and like some old comedy skit, the trunk came down on top of his head while the briefcase opened in his face. He came back to the driver’s seat with knots on both sides, yet never broke face (he was a serious man). Everyone who’d watched from inside the gold Cadillac, including my grandmother, Norma, did their best not to spill over with laughter.

In his youth, he served in the Navy. After marrying my grandmother, he settled into a career at Oak Ridge as an engineer. They bought a home near Knoxville that I saw in person for the first time last year. Today, it’s surrounded by other homes just like it, but I imagine it the way my mom knew it growing up—with a softball field in the back and an indoor pool, both built by my grandfather.

He swam in that pool every morning and, in general, took immaculate care of his body. Between his diabetes and my grandmother’s scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, and stomach cancer diagnoses, diet and nutrition became an obsession. He researched vitamins and supplements long before the days of WebMD, traveling to nearby universities and libraries (like Duke and Mayo) so they could both maintain the highest quality of life possible.

I could go on—because though I don’t remember him, though he passed away long before I was old enough to hold a conversation with him, I’m drawn to him, fascinated by him. I love to hear stories of who he was and what he did and, especially, stories about two things: his heartfelt love for my grandmother and his unwavering passion for God and His Word.

Psalm 103:17-18 says, “But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.” And a note in my ESV Study Bible explains,

“This is the crowning privilege that God gives to his faithful: though their lives are short and appear almost insignificant, they may still contribute to the future well-being of the people of God by their godly and prayerful parenting and grandparenting.”

I don’t know if my grandfather thought about me when he studied his Bible for hours in his downstairs office. I don’t know if he ever thought, “I better stay committed to the Lord because it’s going to matter to my granddaughter one day.” But it does. The stories of his faithfulness strengthen, encourage, and inspire me.

He died when I was one, but his pored-through Bible sits on my bookshelf and a stack of index cards with his notes, in his handwriting, sits on my desk. They remind me his legacy lives on—in my mother, her brothers, my cousins, me. They remind me that the investments I’m making in the Lord today will continue to matter long after I’m gone. This is the privilege of the faithful.

Life is short, but faithfulness lives on.

Hopefully yours,

Author, blog, Christian

Next week’s reading: Psalm 106–112.


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