Saturday, 3 November 2012


It was a great privilege to be invited to the graduation ceremony of my great niece, Ruth Anne. I was remembering the day her parents proudly arrived at our house to introduce us to their first, and only child. She was long legged, even then.

And now they all seemed to be long legged, and no wonder, for they were all going in for sports.

I was touched when, at the beginning of the ceremony, they asked the students to stand in acknowledgement of those who had made their studies possible. Yes, indeed, for through the years her parents have given her every encouragement to do her homework, and in every aspect of her schooling. But what a reward for them to see their daughter achieve something that had been denied them.

‘Your uncle would have been so proud of you,’ I told Ruth. God asks us to love him with all of our hearts and also all of our minds. Joel left school without any qualifications because of his poor health, yet God kept him in health to serve him many years in Africa. It was because of the terrorists uprising that he was restricted in travel and so used this free time to study for a BA with the University of South Africa.

Once retired, we both took up further studies, and Joel went on to get not only his MA but also his doctorate. Yes, his graduation was a very special ceremony.

And yes, I am so proud of my niece, but most of all that she has maintained her Christian testimony while at college, and that she and her young man are doing what the Apostle Paul wrote of, ‘purchasing to themselves a good degree’ in the sight of God.

We aren’t all gifted academically, but we all have gifts of one kind or another. They may not be acknowledged by others, but they have been given by a loving God and he will enable us to use our gifts for his glory. There is going to be a wonderful graduation celebration in heaven and maybe we will be surprised at the rewards we receive.

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