“Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16, NIV
Something about getting older motivates me to learn more about my family “tree” and those who are no longer with us. After reading a book about the Johnstown flood of 1889, I reached out to a cousin who has researched our family’s history over many years to find out if any of our ancestors were involved in the flood. My dad grew up in Johnstown in the early 1900s, as did most of his relatives, so I thought we must have a connection in some way. In fact, I learned the names and stories of several family members who both survived and died in the devastating flood.
Cousin Carolyn also gave me a rundown on other interesting facts about current members of our family who are musicians, writers, artists, and quilt makers; I wonder how many of our ancestors enjoyed all of the same crafts? Carolyn told me we had at least two preachers in our family ancestry, which prompted a pondering thought for me. When we take the time to think about and notice the talents and gifts within our family, it does not take long to find a pattern, that leads one to believe our heritage plays a big part in who we are and what we become in this world. DNA is strong! My dad was a self-taught amazing musician; he could play almost any instrument simply by trying to figure it out. I love to quilt and, of course, to write as do others in my family. I’m certain these traits were the product of a rich heritage.
One of the most intriguing pieces of ancestry I discovered is having preachers in the family because most of my relatives today are strong believers in Jesus Christ. What strikes me is unlike talents that can be passed along in our bloodline, being “Christian” cannot be inherited. Growing up in our large family, I remember so well visiting my great-grandparents who lived into their nineties and who loved Jesus; they did not pound a Bible to make this known, rather they loved and prayed faithfully with and for all of us and shared the Scriptures of promise. Friend, if you are a Christian, then it is very likely someone in your family, perhaps a hundred years ago prayed for you before you were born. What you inherited is not your faith, rather the prayers of the faithful who knew the importance of salvation and eternal life through Jesus Christ. Take the time to research your heritage. You just might be surprised with what you discover.