A Grandpa’s Legacy

29 Jul
Grandpa from Flickr via Wylio

© 2012 Carl Nenzén Lovén, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

My grandpa was extremely influential in my life during my adolescent and young adulthood years.  Spending the night at my grandparents meant feasting on grandma’s fried chicken, and then waking up the next morning to the smell of pancakes.  I have many wonderful memories from my time with them, but my favorite memory is what happened each morning after breakfast.  Each morning, my grandparents would sit side by side in chairs and read their Bibles.

As they read from the Bible, they would always place a checkmark beside the chapter title.  I know because I inherited my Grandfather’s Bible.  While scrolling through it, I am reminded of his love for reading Scripture.

While flipping through his bible one day, I came to Philippians 1:20, which says “according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.”  Along with the many checkmarks beside this chapter, something else was written on that page.

In the margin of his Bible, my grandpa had written the words, “My Goal.”

My grandfather was diagnosed with skin, liver, and lung cancer.  This was when a diagnosis of cancer was more than a disease, but a death sentence.   When first diagnosed, they gave him six months to live.  He defied the odds, and lived happily with cancer for almost thirteen years.  Even while sick, he lived a life of faithfulness to the Lord.  I never heard him complain, but he was always thankful for the Lord’s goodness to him.

© 2006 JoshBerglund19, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

During my junior year of college, my grandfather died.  Although long-expected, I lost one of the biggest influencers in my life.  Most of my memories come from his years of battling cancer.  If he would have died when diagnosed, I barely would have remembered him.   I am so grateful that God extended his life, and gave me this time with him.

My grandfather lived well until the end.  Christ was exalted in how he lived, and how he died.  I am thankful for the example he left for me.

My grandpa achieved his goal – in sickness and in health, in life or in death.

I love my grandfather’s Bible with its tattered and check-marked pages.  But even more, I love the example of his life – completely poured out.



G. David Boyd is a believer in the power of inter-generational relationships.  He is the Managing Director of EA Resources, a non-profit dedicated to helping churches and parents minister to emerging adults.

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