“Good people leave an inheritance to their grandchildren, but the sinner’s wealth passes to the godly.” Proverbs 13:22(NLT)
I used to think this was just about money and felt it was a pretty black and white statement. That is until my grandmother passed away in October. She lived to the ripe age of one hundred and would have turned 101 this month. We know she lived a good long life, but it’s still so hard to say goodbye to someone who has been so constant in your life.
I had been working on her eulogy for several days and I was amazed at how much she had accomplished. She was from a large family that had little money. She was so intelligent that when she begged to go to college and her father said no because she was a girl, the nuns pleaded and changed his mind. She cherished her education and urged us to keep learning.
She was a classy lady that was always dressed properly for every occasion. I never heard her swear and her house was kept in pristine shape. Her and my grandfather were flipping houses long before that was even a thing. She was smart with money and gave abundantly. If you came to her house, she would put out a huge spread of food and set the table like you were royalty.
My parents ended up caring for her for the past eleven years. I am so thankful because we got to spend more time with her than we had when were growing up and living so far away. She went blind soon after she moved and we got to experience her in a whole new way. Every day she kept expecting her eyesight to return, but it never did. When I was sick and couldn’t eat, I was furious with everyone and everything. While she was frustrated, it brought on a humility that I have rarely seen anywhere. She was filled with gratitude, kindness, and smiles.
When I look back, I can’t believe I didn’t recognize this sooner. She was showing what it looks like to fully surrender to G-d’s plan and not be bitter by it, but to be grateful. As I thought of the words of Proverbs, all my life I had thought about it being about something financial, but it’s not just that. Everytime that we step into our identity as a child of G-d, His gifts for us not only blossom, but they flourish.
I would pray for my grandma to get her eyesight back regularly and often wonder why G-d hadn’t healed her. We believed by faith that she would be healed, yet His plan was different for her. He became her eyesight and her vision. It wasn’t a waste. She didn’t miss out. Rather, I think He changed her focus and her heart.
As soon as we had heard she slipped away my heart broke. I had been wanting to visit but wasn’t able to get to her due to my family being sick. As I started to live in regret, I was reminded of how she lived. She didn’t live in fear and anxiety, she lived in prayer. She thought about the good old days and not on her regrets. She was always thanking us and telling us how much she loved us, especially in those last years.
I now realize that the inheritance that my grandmother left behind was greater than any dollar amount. Instead, she left behind a priceless trail of intercessory prayer, faith, kindness, hospitality, humility, love, gratitude, and class.
Our pastor spoke about this verse:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” Romans 1:1 (NLT)
This comforted me. I have realized in the past few years how much her prayers have changed our life for the better and I was thinking, who will pray for us now? She has not gone away, rather she stands with so many others who have gone before us and she is still cheering us on. She has left behind a great inheritance of unwavering faith, devotion, and prayer for her family and I pray one day to do the same.