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  • Tina Nivens

Standing on Shoulders

Updated: Dec 10, 2020

The Christmas season is one of my favorite times of the year. I find myself as I'm shopping for gifts for my family thinking my "mom would love that piece of jewelry" or "these would be perfect pajamas for my mother in law " when I run across something I like; then I pause and remember they are gone. Todd and I both lost our moms in the last year and both of our dads died several years back. Our grandparents, aunts and uncles are all gone except for one.

It is sobering to suddenly be the oldest in the family, to be the one that the kids and grandkids look up to for help and stability. Last night after we participated in the Princeton Christmas Parade we started talking about what a blast it was to see families and friends so happy and so jovial. I commented that my mom would have loved the event and would have wanted to just ride in the truck pulling the float, and then it was said that my mom in law, would have wanted to ride on the float, and then how she would have commented that she had overdone it afterwards. We all laughed and shared a sweet moment remembering our parents and peeled back another layer of grief. I heard it said by a man named Charlie Cruce that greatly influenced my life, say once that "we stand on the shoulders of those that come before us, those that invest in us for the sake of the gospel."

Acts 22:3 says, "Then Paul said “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors." My parents poured into me as a person and as a follower of Christ, they were "Gamaliel" to me teaching me the truths of scripture, and others poured into them, and others before them poured into those people. Maybe this season as you find yourself missing a loved one, or just grieving over what 2020 was, you can turn that grief into gratefulness as you thank God for all those have invested in you. Maybe you can turn your focus to investing and giving of yourself to others around you. Maybe someday someone will declare that they are standing on your shoulders and how you have supported and taught them about life and the love of Christ. We are all broken and the thought of people depending on me is a heavy load, it is very humbling. I often find myself asking the Lord for wisdom as it says in James 1:5,

"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." This season first thank God for those that have come before you whose shoulders your standing on. Yes in spite of the culture in the world around us, we are able to lead our families in a type of culture centered on Christ; one that offers comfort and joy, grace and peace. Merry Christmas to you all!

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