The saying, “blood is thicker than water” has been traced to a German proverb,” Blut ist dicker als Wasser,” back in 1180, according to Wikipedia. I suspect though that the concept that our allegiance to the blood relatives of our immediate family is stronger than it is to other associates dates back much farther than that. The history of the Hebrews in the Old Testament points this up very strongly.

            I do recall when the saying first got my attention. I was an employee of the Shell Factory in Ft. Myers, Florida back in the early sixties. Scotty was a salesman and I a truck driver. Scotty’s main competition was Jerry, another Shell Factory salesman that just happened to be a brother to Harold and Ellis the president and vice president of the Factory. In their contest for the best sales position Jerry told Scotty that, “blood is thicker than water,” and Scotty related this to me.

            Family is important in this present world. I have lost all of my grandparents, my mother and father, my brother, who was my only sibling. I have lost my wife, our first child, a daughter, and all of my aunts and uncles except for Aunt Ruth, my dad’s youngest sister who is now 100 years old and likely wouldn’t know me if I saw her. Of the fifteen first cousins that I have known five are gone. The ten that are left are scattered from one end of America to the other. Some I haven’t seen or heard from in over fifty years. I have two sons and one daughter-in-law, and no grandchildren. I earnestly hope I do not outlive them; life without them is something I don’t want to face. Nevertheless, not my will but God’s be done.

            God gave us the family so that we shouldn’t be alone in this sin infected world; so we would have companionship, love and care in times of stress and discomfort. What we have done to the family of late is shameful and horrendous. To live in this world we need a family.

            That being said, the family of blood relatives is for this world, not eternity. For eternal life there is Another’s blood that is “thicker than water,” the blood of Christ! Through Christ’s sacrifice and the shedding of His blood the redeemed are welcomed into the family of God and in heaven His blood is all that counts. Bill Gaither must have had some insight into this when he wrote, “I’m so glad I am part of the family of God.”

            To many this doesn’t seem to be understood. I hear people constantly talk of being reunited with their close family relatives in heaven. My problem is I don’t know which family members I will find in heaven. Perhaps Grandmother Caniff, who died when I was 14, nearly 63 years ago. Some who knew her and worshiped with her testified that she was a good Christian and is surely in heaven. But my other grandparents, my parents and most other relatives, if they died like they lived I won’t find them there. I recall long ago hearing that when we get to heaven we may be surprised at who is there, and who isn’t. I suspect that is true to some extent. Oh, by the way, when I get to heaven I hope sometime to sit down with the Apostle Paul, John the Baptist, George Fox, and others who suffered greatly for the privilege of going to heaven. Of course I want to see Jesus.

            Maybe Dad is there; he had a good mother, but he certainly didn’t live a Christian life. But I have wondered if he didn’t lay down his life for Mother and me. If he lived and came home from the hospital he was going to need care and we had no idea how we would supply it. When we left the hospital we were studying this but it wasn’t necessary. The call came in the middle of that night that he had “expired.” Problem solved! Jesus said, “ Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” I have often wondered if Dad laid down his life to solve our problem. Eternity will tell.

            I recall when I first got saved, how I hungered for Christian fellowship but found practically none. Dad was dead and Mother wasn’t interested. I survived but looked forward to transferring to Asbury College, a Christian college; I would find fellowship there. Thank God I did find some, but not in the amount I had hoped. I also recall attending a “holiness” camp-meeting back in the ‘70s. After the service I was walking across the camp grounds with the workers, who were walking to their quarters and some turned and let me know that I was not a member of their group. I turned and left but in the 35 years since I have never forgotten it. It hurt! I wonder, when we get to heaven will you exclude me and others like me from your “family” gathering because, “blood is thicker than water”?

            I like to believe that in heaven the only blood that counts is the shed blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I hope that there we will all be one happy family, no partiality or preferences but just brothers and sisters in Christ. Please God, may it be so!