Practicing the presence of Jesus

I have 3 grandparents still living – 2 grandmothers and a grandfather. And while they’re all in their mid to upper 80’s, I feel so fortunate to still be able to call them on the phone or pop in for a weekend visit. Unfortunately, my paternal grandmother is beginning to suffer from dementia (or possibly even Alzheimer’s) and is becoming more difficult each day. She has always been known for her sharp tongue, and as each year passes and the disease that’s stealing her mind progresses her tongue gets quicker and her patience thinner. Sometimes just being around her makes you a glutton for punishment.

However, on the opposite end of the spectrum is my maternal grandfather. And for a few years now I’ve really taken notice of how my Grandaddy has aged.

He is in his mid 80’s now and his body is beginning to fail him. For many years now, he’s suffered a variety of health issues that primarily stem from a childhood accident that left him with a fused hip, severe pain, and a pronounced limp. However, he didn’t let that slow him down. He grew up on an Amish – Mennonite farm, and after leaving home in his late teens, he married a feisty young woman from Indiana, promptly moved to Western Kansas to pursue the life of a dirt farmer, raised 5 children, and was an active member of his church and the local Gideon’s International chapter.

In his 80+ years, he’s spent many hours in prayer, fasting, and God’s word. He lives a life of integrity and character, always mindful of the Lord’s leading and drawing. He is unashamed of the gospel of truth, and willing to share his testimony of faith in a quiet yet compelling way. He loves his children and grandchildren with a passion, and daily prays for each one by name; committing them to the Lord. He is a man that has influenced many lives for Christ, but doesn’t desire the credit for any of it. I know that if he says he will pray for me, I can be assured that he will do it faithfully. His life is a life that has been marked by trials, testing, and suffering, but will be remembered and revered as a life always lived for Christ.

His life and faith are truly an inspiration to me, my family, and those who know him. And unlike my Gram, I am certain that if his mind ever fails him, he will fall back on the one thing he knows and practices above all else, and that’s being in the presence of his Lord Jesus.

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