Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Prayers are answered

        Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia! 
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where's thy victory, oh grave? Alleluia!

On Easter Sunday, my oldest daughter made a public confession of her desire to serve the risen Savior for the rest of her life. I have had a hard time writing about this as it seemed to somehow diminish the sanctity of this event by posting it on the blog, but then that seemed hypocritical considering Christ is the center of my life and to deny access to that area on my blog would be denying who I am. So here is the story...

About a year and a half ago, Muffin said that she wanted to be baptized. This brought up a conversation about why one gets baptized and she stated that she wanted to ask Jesus into her heart. We talked to her some more but since she is our oldest, we had a really hard time discerning her heart. Here is the sad thing, if ANY other child in the world would come up to me and say, "I want to ask Jesus into my heart" I would
immediately open up a Bible, ask them some questions and pray with them. Why is it so much harder with my own children? I question her motives, consider the depth of her understanding and wonder if she knows enough to make this commitment.

So Andy took her to talk to our Pastor. He gave her a tract for kids (not the particular one in this link but you get the idea)

He told her to read it and discuss it with us when she was ready. She did read it. That night. And when we found it some time later, we found the notes she had carefully written in the margins. Things like, "Wow!" when reading about the sacrifice of Christ. And "Yeh!" when reading about his resurrection. Then she signed it and dated it that she had prayed the sinner's prayer. She did not talk about it with us for some time.
I can't explain or defend our lack of action on this. Certainly the Holy Spirit was pressing me to act but I could not figure out how.

About two months ago, Muffin began attending the worship service with us instead of the children's service. We had been encouraging her to attend one service a month in first grade, two in second and now she wanted to go with us almost every week.
These verses were an encouragement to me:

"He called a little child and had him stand among them.

And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me." Matthew 18:2-5

So I began to pray during our Pastor's invitations each week that God would pull her to Him during an invitation. This was kind of my "Gideon's fleece" (Judges 6:36-40). I never talked to Muffin about coming forward during an invitation, I waited to see if the King of Kings might call her to Him in that way. This kind of public display is not in Muffin's nature. She is an introvert. So on Easter Sunday, when she tugged on my shirt and said during the invitation, "I want to ask Jesus into my heart" I knew that the God who knows my fears and doubts was making Himself real to her. Andy took her forward where she talked to our Pastor. He reminded her that a child's first commandment was to obey her parents and encouraged us to continue the dialogue with her.

We went straight to Andy's parent's house for Easter dinner and Muffin stayed in the car to talk to Andy. He made sure that she understood what was happening:
1. Did she admit that she, like all of us, was a sinner?
2. Did she recognize that God is Holy and our sin separates us from Him?
3. Did she know that Jesus Christ's (a sinless man and God at one time) death on the cross was a sacrifice without which we could not stand before a Holy God?
4. Did she want to accept the gift of salvation and spend the rest of her life in service to Him?

Praise God, the answer was yes. They prayed together and came inside to share the good news with our family. She was so excited and I think was unprepared for the overwhelming excitement of each person she told. It was wonderful to see and now that I've written it, it all seems so simple-why did it take this long?


Stace said...

WOOP WOOP WOOP! I can see why you might not...and why you ultimately DID share on your blog... thanks for the encouragement! I am confident that this committment was very REAL and GENUNINE! HOW EXCITING!

Stace said...

hey, are your post dates "off"??