Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by Me from before your birth, carried from the womb; even to your old age I am He, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save. Isaiah 46:3-4
Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays! Ever since I was little, I loved watching the fireworks. To this day, I get excited like a little kid and can’t wait to stand outside and watch them for hours. I will never get bored of them!
As an adult, Independence Day isn’t just an observance of the birth of my nation; it holds precious memories of how God carried one soul throughout his days on earth and left an ongoing legacy of trusting in God: my grandpa aka Appacha.
Growing up in Dallas, there was one tradition my family had. On July fourth, we would all pile up in the family car, and my dad would drive around town so we could watch the fireworks. One year, we learned that the best spot was at my uncle’s place. He called us over, and we parked behind his house and watched sitting on top of the trunk. As the years went by, more and more of my dad’s relatives would randomly show up to this amazing location. Without anyone ever planning it, the entire clan would have a July 4th reunion to watch the sky explode with light. It was amazing!
Even as a kid, I was quite the people watcher. It was amazing to see all my cousins and my uncles and aunts together. (Literally 20+ people sitting on the trunks of their cars.)The fact that we as a family exist was mind-blowing. When I saw them laughing, talking, and playing, I saw the work of God. I could see decades of His faithfulness for the M.O. family. This was especially true when I looked at our patriarch, my Appacha.
His life was a story fully dependent on God and instilling that trust to future generations. I didn’t know too much about his past, but I knew that he was the sole provider and spiritual leader of his household. After he married, he lost his first wife shortly after giving birth to a son. He married my grandma shortly after, and they raised ten children together in the fear of the Lord. My grandpa had to bury his fourth son who was only in his early twenties, yet his faith never wavered. It was a few years later that he helped send his sons to America to start a new life.
I loved when he came to America to visit, but I loved it even more when I got to visit him in India. Without fail, he prayed at the start of his day and at the end of his day. He prayed for all of his children and grandchildren. It was such a privilege to literally see how God carried my grandpa even into his old age just as God promised he would in Isaiah!
Then one night on July 3rd, my dad got a call from India where it was July 4th already, and he found out that Appacha had transitioned onto the next life. July 4th has never been the same since then. When I see those lights shoot up into the sky, explode and shatter, and then fade I’m ever reminded of Appacha’s life. He had lived through both world wars and India’s independence. Only the Lord knows all that he endured in his 90+ years on earth, but to me he will be just like a firework that brightly lit up my sky for a few seconds on earth before he skyrocketed home to heaven. God carried Appacha for all of his days, and I have the assurance that God will carry me.