As we rode with the park ranger through the thick trees on the narrow trail down to the riverbank, I could not help but imagine what my fifth generation ancestors were thinking and doing in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s right where my father and I were standing.
Samuel Northington, his wife of 21 years having died from giving birth to their 8th child, decided to move his family in 1771 from Virginia to North Carolina to open a mercantile store and begin a ferry business at a strategic place along the Cape Fear River. Approximately 50 years later one of his sons, Jesse, died from a fall off of a second floor balcony around Christmas of 1828. This accident set in motion the exodus of all of his children to several different states to begin new lives. One of his sons, Levi, moved his family to Alabama where the Northingtons would stay until our family moved to Georgia in 1972.
As I have looked back into my family’s history, it reminds me that God’s plan for the nations came from one man. God promised to Abraham that he would make him into a great nation through his descendants. Israel became that nation and she has had many “ups and downs” over the years as chronicled in the Scriptures. However, those who know Jesus Christ today are a result of this original plan that God put in motion so many years ago. We are the beneficiaries of the faithfulness of those who have gone before us.
None of us know how long we have to live on this earth. Ephesians 5:16 says, “Make the most of every opportunity because the days are evil.”
Are you and I making the most of every opportunity? Will we pass on to the next generation the Gospel of Jesus Christ so that our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will live in the freedom and joy of knowing God in a personal relationship? Every decision we make today impacts future generations to come. May we each be found faithful today so that our future ancestors will spiritually benefit and impact others for Christ.
William “Carey” Northington of One Master Ministries in Xenia may be contacted at www.OneMaster.org.