The bumper sticker read: “If I’d known grandchildren were so much fun I would have had them first.” With grandchildren we have no parental responsibility and can send them home when we’re tired.
But to be a grandchild of God is a vulnerable place. My commitment to God when I was ten years old was a meaningful decision. But my father’s conviction of his faith bolstered my assurance of faith. He clearly expressed his belief and confidently preached it.
As long as confidence in some-one else is our assurance of faith, we are God’s grandchildren. If we rely on some-one else’s belief, our own faith may falter and our confidence is undermined.
Jacob is a prime example. Early in life, his confidence was in the God of his father Isaac: he referred to “the Lord your God” in Genesis 27:20. But later he met God at Bethel and the Lord became his God. For the rest of his life, his personal relationship with God—tenuous at times—became his mainstay.
Joseph came to that place much earlier in life. He lost all contact with his family and those who knew God. His adversity drove him to seek God for himself.
There is nothing wrong with leaning on others during a time of incubation and maturing of our faith. But a systematic knowledge of God’s word, and experience of God’s involvement in our lives, will make our faith our own. Then we are able to “give the reason for the hope that you have,” 1 Peter 3:15. Where are you on this journey?