"Trials dark on every hand and we cannot understand
All the ways that God would lead us to that blessed promised land;
But He'll guide us with His eye, and we'll follow till we die;
We will understand it better by and by.
By and by, when the morning comes.
When the saints of God are gathered home,
We will tell the story how we've overcome;
We will understand it better by and by."
Words sung by two little girls to their grandma and grandpa.
Words sung with no idea of the meaning of trials, or of waiting, or of the by and by.
We sang the words and the melody for one reason. Our singing made Grandma and Grandpa happy. It made them smile.
Singing was a way we could love them.
Our singing was something we could give to them.
How true . . . that in giving, we receive.
It's hard to believe that my cousin, Mary Jo, and I are close to the age our grandparents were when we sang to them.
They seemed so much older than we do now.
They seemed so much wiser.
The years that have passed have brought with them the understanding of trials, and of waiting, and of the by and by.
Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
Jesus was right. The troubles have come. Troubles that two little girls could never have imagined.
Grandma and Grandpa knew they would come. Troubles had come to them.
Maybe that is why they encouraged us to sing. Maybe that is why our voices made them happy.
They knew they were sowing truth into us. They knew, though we didn't understand at the time, that one day we would.
By encouraging us to sing God's promises, they were giving us a gift.
A gift that would be opened long after they were gone. They were giving us the gift of hope. Hope for when the troubles came.
They knew without hope, the two little girls they loved so much, wouldn't make it.
There have been times when hope was thought to be lost.
Times when we wondered if the by and by would ever come. Times when it seemed the by and by passed right by us, without us ever seeing it.
Times we still wonder, will there ever be any understanding, or sense made of what we see in our lives.
But the wondering and the waiting can't destroy the promise that was placed in our little-girl hearts, by Grandma and Grandpa, and by the Savior that gave His life for us.
The promise is that the morning will come. That there will be understanding.
Until then, two grown up little girls who don't feel very grown up at all, will follow the One that sees.
We will wait with hope for the by and by, and we will tell our stories.
We will pass Grandma and Grandpa's gift to another generation.
And we will continue to sing.
"One generation shall praise Your works to another, and declare Your mighty acts."
Giving thanks for . . .
427. grandmas and grandpas.
428. girl cousins.
429. singing for smiles.
430. hope sowed that blossoms.
431. stories to tell.
432. a spiritual inheritance.
433. the promise of the by and by.
434. the promise of the morning.
435. wooden church pews and old green hymnals.
436. new Bible studies.
437. new faces and friends.
438. knowing the best we can do is all He asks.
439. the assurance a friend has received that her daddy will spend eternity in heaven.
440. His overcoming our world!