Time with Grandpa brought lessons about praying to our heavenly Father.
Joshua Van Sluytman
When I was little, I enjoyed spending time with my grandpa on the farm. My favorite time was riding with him on the tractor while he did various tasks around the farm.
My grandpa is a very religious man. He grew up as a Lutheran and is still very active at church. He is a former elder and goes to church every Sunday.
While riding on the tractor, we have had many heart–to–heart conversations. Even if the conversations were serious, they usually were about everyday things. It was like sitting in a small, enclosed classroom, one–on–one with the best teacher you could ask for. He used to be a public school teacher until he became a farmer.
I would tell him about fun and exciting things in my life, but I also would tell him about the bad things. I believe that has helped me. My grandpa taught me how to deal with difficult situations or people. He told me to act calmly and in a way that they would listen or respond positively to me. This has helped me as a Christian because every solution he gave me to my problems always revolved around his Christian attitude.
Sometimes there was no solution. Then Grandpa usually sympathized with me but also told me that it was in God’s hands. I just needed to trust in God.
The talks with my grandpa always remind me of the way I think Christians pray to God. It’s kind of like sitting in an enclosed room with just you and God. You can lay before him all of life’s troubles and woes. God is there to offer a helping hand and a solution to your problems. Sometimes God provides the direct solution you have been looking for, but he may also simply say, “Trust in me and lean not on your own understanding” (cf. Proverbs 3:5). Whatever the answer may be, God will always answer your prayers, and the answer is what God sees as best for you.
Prayer is also like the talks with my grandpa because you can share with God the good things in your life. You get to praise God for every blessing and good thing he has put into your life. You can praise him by going to church and singing hymns of praise and by praying and expressing your thankfulness for the many blessings he has showered upon you.
Although these days I am busier because I am in high school, I still enjoy spending as much time as I can helping Grandpa on the farm. I value the time and still learn new things every time I am with him.
Praying to God helps us remember to read his Word so we can learn new things spiritually and grow more mature in our walk of faith. We may be mad with God and his solutions at times, but as we see his solutions work out we can see how God chose the right path for us.
As Christians, we need to remember to pray to God in every trouble. We should also pray to God in the good times and thank him for all the blessings he has given us—including the greatest blessing of all, sending his Son to die on the cross to free us from our slavery to sin and to make us slaves to righteousness.
Joshua Van Sluytman, a senior at Manitowoc Lutheran High School, Manitowoc, Wisconsin, is a member at St. John, Maribel, Wisconsin.
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Author: Joshua VanSluytman
Volume 106, Number 6
Issue: June 2019
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