Posted by Joel Osteen on 9/28/2012
My grandfather on my dad’s side was a very good, hard-working man. But, Granddaddy didn’t have any kind of spiritual upbringing. None of his relatives knew anything about God. My father was the first one in the family to come to know the Lord when he was just seventeen years old. Granddaddy Osteen was a very quiet, reserved man. My father shared his faith with Granddaddy many times, but he just wouldn’t hear it. He said, “John, when I’m dead, I’m dead like a dog. Just roll me over in the ditch.”
My father would say, “No, Daddy. You’ve got to live on somewhere after the stars fall like autumn leaves.”
But it just went in one ear and out the other. It didn’t have any effect on Granddaddy. Year after year went by. One Sunday, my father was up in the pulpit at the church he pastored at that time. Granddaddy walked in that church for the first time ever and sat down on the back row. My father was so thrilled! It was a dream come true. Then, right in the middle of his message, Granddaddy got up, walked down the aisle and stood at the altar, interrupting the whole service. He said, “John, I’m finishing today what I started over 40 years ago.”
Daddy said, “What do you mean?”
Granddaddy told how when he was in his early 20’s, he was out in the woods and a huge blizzard unexpectedly blew in. He got lost. He walked for hours and hours in temperatures below zero. He couldn’t see anything. Night fell and he was lost in the dark and cold, all alone. He was sure that he was going to freeze to death. His body was starting to shut down and he got very sleepy. He was about to lie down in the snow, but before he did, under his breath he said, “God, if You will spare my life and help me make it through this storm, then I’ll serve You.” Granddaddy lay down in the snow expecting it to be the end. The next morning, he woke up just as warm as toast. Somehow God had kept him alive. He said, “John, I’ve put this off for 40 years, but today I’m going to make good on the promise that I made to God.”
My grandfather never missed another Sunday at that church. One day they asked him to become an usher. You would have thought they had asked him to become the President of the United States! He was so proud, so excited. Granddaddy only owned one suit. When he died, that was the suit he was buried in. In the pockets, there were church bulletins and church offering envelopes and tracts from the church where he had served.
How many people, like my grandfather, have made a promise to God? “God, if You will help me through this tough time, then I’ll serve You…God, if You will give me this job, then I’ll get back in church…God, if You will help me pass this college course…God, if You will show me mercy.” God did His part. My question is, “Have you done yours?” Have you made good on the promise that you made to God? If not, don’t put it off any longer. It’s not too late to forgive. It’s not too late to get back in church. It’s not too late to pursue a dream. It’s your time to fulfill your promise to God because He is faithful, and He will fulfill every promise He’s made to you!
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.”(Proverbs 3:3, NIV)
Copyright © 2012 Joel Osteen Ministries