There was a country song recorded about eight years ago by Brad Paisley called “Two People Fell in Love”. He points out the obvious – that every one of us owes our very existence to the simple fact that at one moment in time two people fell in love. He describes a family reunion where members from five generations came in from 15 different states to have a picnic every June, all because 60 years ago Stanley Wilson knew that Ms. Emma Tucker was the one for him.
I mention this because I have recently embarked on a journey, not unlike one that many others have taken, to discover my roots.
Two days ago, my son and wife were looking at the family tree information that my wife had collected a number of years ago. Her family has done a much better job about that than mine. I went to the internet to find some tools to help me build our family tree, and discovered MyHeritage.com. Fairly quickly I was able to begin to create a database where I could log in what I already knew, in hopes that I could find much more information about our roots. I was impressed by this site. After spending several hours Friday night on this project (and paying a small annual fee), I was able to place over 270 people on our family tree with great detail. I was also able to locate several supporting historical documents such as actual census reports from 1940 and earlier and two high school yearbook photos of my mom.
To borrow a phrase that comes up often from one of our key leaders at work, “This is all mildly interesting.” However, I do not want anyone to miss the point, which was hinted at in the title of this article. God’s mighty hand of protection and blessing is all over the Gehrlein family tree.
The faithfulness of God is something I hold very dear. My favorite old hymn, which they had better sing at my funeral, is “Great is Thy Faithfulness”. This key attribute of God is clearly revealed and illustrated often in Scripture and in the life of His Son Jesus. Psalm 36:5 link God’s love and faithfulness together: “Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.”
God’s faithfulness is also tied to His sovereignty. Since God is ultimately in control of His plans for His people, in spite of their apparent freedom of choice (yes, I am a Calvinist), He is able to control the very circumstances that led to our creation through two imperfect people who fell in love. The way I see it, God ensured that these ancestors in our family tree did what they were supposed to do so that we as His children now could do the things we are called to do.
Let me close with another appropriate verse from Psalm 100:5: “For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”
Praise be to God for His faithfulness to His children!
Master Sergeant Russell E. Gehrlein (U.S. Army, Retired) is a Christian, husband of 38 years, father of three, grandfather of four, blogger, and author of “Immanuel Labor – God’s Presence in our Profession: A Biblical, Theological, and Practical Approach to the Doctrine of Work”, published by WestBow Press in February 2018. He received a B.S. in Mathematics from Colorado State University in 1980 and an M.A. in Biblical Studies from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary in 2015. He is also a former junior/senior high school math and science teacher and youth pastor. Russ currently works as a Department of the Army civilian at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.