Before I Ever Knew Him
One of my Christmas gifts this year was a book entitled “Memories for My Grandchild” by Suzanne Zenkel. It is actually a book that I write as I answer prompts and questions about my birth and background, my childhood and teen years, and about how I met “Grandpa” and our early years together. It is pretty much a recap of my life story with areas to write about my faith and my beliefs as well as about my relationship with my grandson.
I realize that most of these entries would mean little to my grandson now, or even as a child, but it excites me to think of what it could possibly mean to him when he is older. I would love to be able to curl up now with a book written by my grandmother, to read about things she remembered about her parents and childhood home, about games she played, music she enjoyed, and special toys or items she treasured. It would be great to learn what my grandmother was like before she knew me and before I knew her.
But even more, I love the opportunity to write about my spiritual beliefs and to let my grandchild and perhaps even his posterity, know forever what Jesus means to me. To be sure, I’ll tell him face-to-face as I have opportunity – as we go – but it overwhelms me to think that what I write down about my relationship with Jesus could possibly speak to my grandson, or perhaps even his children after him, to tell them about Jesus and the hope we can have in Him. What a privilege to share with my grandson what happened between Jesus and me before I ever knew him.
But as much as I think about my grandson and want him to come to know Jesus, I am overjoyed to know that the Sovereign, Almighty, Creator God thinks about him, too. The Psalmist declared: “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand” (Psalm 139:17-18a).
God knows all about my grandson…He made him and planned his days (see Psalm 139:13-16).
God loves my grandson…He planned for his redemption before the foundation of the world by sending His Son Jesus (see 1 John 4:10 and 1 Peter 1:20).
God loved and planned for my grandson long before he was ever born, before my grandson ever knew Him.
And this is true not just for my grandson, but it is true for you and me as well. All of us are born into different situations with different opportunities. We are rich or poor, loved or neglected, full or hungry, healthy or frail, but God knows each of us intimately and loves us the same. While with our limited understanding we cannot understand or explain these differences and the burdens that some must bear, one thing we can know – we all meet at the cross. God not only made us, but before we ever knew Him, He planned a way to bring us into fellowship with Him.
“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born] of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’ Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ” (Galatians 4:4-7).
I pray that one day I’ll have the opportunity to tell my grandson that before he ever knew God that God thought of him. I pray that he will understand what Christ did for him and that he will joyfully accept His gift of salvation. For then I’ll know that no matter what my grandson’s life may look like here on earth, he will have his Father in heaven guiding his footsteps, listening to his heartfelt cries, loving him, comforting him, and giving him a peace and joy that only a child of God can know. How I hope I’ll have that privilege! And all because my God who I cannot begin to fathom or understand thought about me – before I ever knew Him!
“Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34b).