- I John 4L13-16 (MSG)
We are a family of faith. It is our deepest desire as parents that our children would choose - on their own - to serve God. We pray that they choose to recognize their own sinful nature and that they would desire a relationship with a God who desperately seeks us & saves us from ourselves. Every night, we pray that they would love and know God - from an early age.
Though our children know our faith and they see us pray, attend church, serve others, give, etc., ultimately they must make their own decisions as to Whom they will serve.
In recent weeks, we've marveled at how Will has begun to express his desire to know God deeper. And it has increasingly become evident that God was pursuing his little life. I've found myself so thankful for this God I serve. What kind of God relentlessly pursues us? What kind of God pursues a small child - one who doesn't have much to offer yet (at least in the world's eyes.) He's "just" a kid. Yet it is so evident to me how God has been pursuing his little heart and seeking relationship with my son. It humbles me at the nature of our God - He wants each of us for His kingdom; He has a role for each of us on this earth. He desires relationship with us - a Creator with His created. And He is willing to pursue that with a child to the ends of the earth.
All of scripture is a story of pursuit. It's a romance. It's God wildly and actively pursuing His people - wooing us to Him - throughout time. It's our choice, of course. We can't earn it. We haven't done anything to deserve it. It's just His grace and His desire for us to know Him.
About a week ago, Will came bounding into my bathroom one morning and told me,
"You know, Mommy, I'm God's biggest fan. In fact, I think He is the best of all the superheroes."
And then he proceeded to sing a new rendition of the Batman theme song. It goes like this, "du du du du du du du du "God!" du du du du du du du du du "Jesus!" Repeat.
At church one morning as we sang, I sang the old hymn and rocked him in my arms gently. Suddenly, he whispered, "Mommy, why is that man raising his hands?" And so I explained that we can worship God in all sorts of ways - hands raised, dancing, eyes closed, praying, or just simply singing.
He replied, "I want to worship God but I don't want anyone to see my hands."
With an aching heart, I assured him again that God loves him and loves his hands and he can worship God however he is most comfortable. It's just between him & God.
A few minutes later, as I continued so sing and rock, I looked down and he was hunched over in my arms and clapping quietly where no one could see him with his eyes closed. My boy was worshipping his God.
Later that same Sunday, he asked me if he could write God a letter. He wanted God to know that he is Jesus' biggest fan. "Mommy, do you know His address? Because we need to mail it Mommy. Are you sure you know where they live?" I assured him we could mail it.
They're holding hands - God, Jesus, and Will.
Precious, isn't it?
He's been asking to wear his cross necklaces so that people will know he is "God's biggest fan."
He keeps bringing up faith and what it means and we keep having little snippets of conversation and it is absolutely precious.
I have this front row seat to watch God pursue my son and my son is responding. I'm just in awe.
Then last night, as he prayed with his daddy, he suddenly said, "God, please come live in my heart." His daddy was astounded and texted me and I broke down in tears as I sat in a dark room with a friend at a concert.
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
This morning, I celebrated with my son and I explained the term "Christian." I asked him what made him want to pray that and he simply said,
"Well, Mommy. Jesus died for me."
It's so easy to complicate this whole faith thing. It's easy to read various scriptures and make this long list of things we need to do to reach heaven. It's easy to talk to different people and read commentaries and think we have to DO something. The hard part is accepting the gift, the grace of Jesus dying for us.
But that wasn't hard for my son. Children understand free gifts. He completely gets the idea of a gift with no strings attached. He fully embraces gift giving (or receiving.) He understands grace. It's not difficult for him to accept a gift from God - he knows he doesn't have to earn this. It's his for the taking - if only he believes and accepts.
And then He rose.
And by His grace, there is nothing for us to do but choose to believe - to follow.
Will isn't seeking something from God in this other than the gift of God Himself. He's not looking for a ticket to Heaven. He's not concerned at all with life after death really. It's not about what God can do for him. He is seeking God for right now - for this life. He is completely satisfied with who God is & what He has done for us. Will doesn't need all the answers. In fact, perhaps due to the fact that he often asks questions for which we have no answers regarding his differences, he has learned from an early age that sometimes we just have to trust that there is a plan and purpose even when we don't understand and even when life is hard.
It's hard to grasp something so profound as salvation as really being so very simple, isn't it?
Will is excited. He knows this is significant. We've called his grandparents and he has shared his news over the phone. How incredibly blessed he is - to have a legacy of faith to have been handed down through the generations.
It is significant. Our son has chosen on his own to follow God. He desires relationship with His Creator.
And we give thanks.
For it is by grace you have been saved - through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast.
I don't normally do this but it seems like this might be a good time. If you too are feeling pursued by your Creator and not sure how to respond, email me. I'd love to talk to you. He wants relationship and it really is so simple.