My family crunched over crisp leaves on an uncommonly warm Fall day during our hike in the woods. Taking in all the sights, sounds and smells had us on high alert to the Majesty of our Creator! We soaked in all the beauty of the last remnants of the colorful leaves still clinging to their actively shedding branches. The golden hour made it feel ethereal.
On the way home our children decided to talk about what they wanted to ask for for Christmas. They decided since Halloween was over, it was time to fantasize about toys for two straight months. There were the usual requests: Legos, teddy bear, etcetera. One request hit different.
Our six year old said, "I want to ask Jesus in my heart for Christmas."
All of our jaws dropped and a collective, "AWWWWW," filled our SUV. We explained that he didn't have to wait for Christmas. Salvation was/is available immediately. He repeated his request to make that happen at Christmas. We agreed that he seemed pretty settled on the issue and we moved back on to the superficial talk about the video games they wanted to find under the tree.
A few days later, while we were running the water for a bath, he announced to his father, "I want to ask Jesus in my heart now." My husband called, "Andrea! I think you're going to want to come in here!" When he told me what our son said, I asked the little guy to confirm. He nodded sheepishly. I asked if he would like his older siblings to join us too. He agreed. We moved to the bedroom. When everyone was gathered, we asked him to explain what it meant to ask Jesus in your heart. My oldest explained to him the ABCs that she had learned when she was younger. A is for admitting that you are a sinner. B is for believing that Christ died on the cross for your sins and for us to have life eternal with God through Jesus. C is for confessing both A and B. He said he understood and was ready.
With all hands on that sweet, scrawny, little frame, we prayed together. Our little man was grinning from ear to ear. He was so excited! We all cheered and explained to him that all of Heaven was rejoicing for this decision! This child is somewhat apprehensive to show that he is feeling feelings, so he drew his mouth tight together and squinted his eyes. He was moved, but didn't know how to process it. We all hugged him and told him to get his stinky butt into the tub.
When recounting this story to an acquaintance, she remarked with tongue-in-cheek, "So you baptized him right away then!" HA!! All jokes aside, we will absolutely let him decide when he's ready to take that next step. For now we are rejoicing with him and working to make sure we disciple this new creation so he will never forget the decision he made that night.
We never know when the Holy Spirit is going to touch our hearts. We certainly hadn't planned on a mini-revival in our bedroom that evening! It is imperative for us to pause and let the Spirit move in His own time. We need to believe our children when they call out their excitement over the precious name of Jesus. Sometimes we have a tendency to write them off as not knowing enough or not understanding every detail. The real beauty therein lies... faith like a child. They know that He is Lord and are willing to surrender to Him not knowing every detail. Jesus explains to his disciples in Matthew after they were asking who would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (because only adults care about such status), "He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said, "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. If anyone causes one of these littles ones- those who believe in me- to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea."" (Matthew 18:2-6 NIV) The same lesson was recorded in Mark and Luke. Matthew 19:14 (ESV) says, "but Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven." Are we to think our age qualifies us for greater faith?? No. My son has much to learn about the Bible and the lessons that are treasured within, but his faith is planted. Now it is our duty and to those around him to water and feed that faith that we may all join in the Paradise that Jesus is preparing for us.
God, You are infinitely awesome. We cannot wrap our minds around how you are all-knowing and take up every space. We are flabbergasted at the random times you send your Holy Spirit to soften our hearts to your glory. We do not deserve to be loved so fully. The way you love us is truly incomprehensible! Thank you for loving us to the point of sacrificing your son that we may have eternity in your presence. You were, are and always will be in control of everything. In that we find peace and hope. We love you. In Jeusus' name we pray, Amen.