The Family Tree

I’ve been crisscrossing the southeast on road trips this spring.  What beautiful drives - tree lined roads, hills…I love it! 

To pass the time, I sometimes listen to talks that I’ve downloaded to CDs, and I’ve listened to some of Capitol Hill Baptist Church’s Henry Forums.  Recently, I enjoyed hearing “Out of Africa: Biblical Christianity in Zambia” by Conrad Mbewe.  During the first part of this talk, Mbewe highlights how the gospel first came to his region of Africa and how Christianity spread there throughout the last couple hundred years.  Often, he describes how one individual specifically impacted the life of another, who in turn had an impact on another person or group, and so on.

This got me thinking about the importance of geneaologies.  Just as people often want to fill in their biological heritage (learning that their great great grandfather was the first settler of a town, etc.) I think it is perhaps even more important to consider one’s spiritual heritage in not only general but also specific terms. 

It encouraged me to hear how the Lord specifically worked through the everyday lives of individual believers in Africa through many years to do what has developed into a great work.  It is so encouraging to consider the many saints that have taught and discipled me personally, and think of those believers earlier this century that blessed, exhorted and strengthened them, and then of those earlier believers who taught, wrote, sang, discipled and loved that generation…and so on… 

Throughout history, God has ever continued to work through His people.  And, by His grace, He will continue to work through me.  When I think of the larger picture of this “family tree” that He is growing up on this earth it spurs me on to continue pursuing Kingdom purposes even through the hard, difficult or seemingly fruitless times.  The tree is not fruitless.  The tree is growing.  The tree has deep roots.