Monday, December 6, 2010

From Jhen: On Getting Baptized

(From Lessons I Learned From My Kids When I Was Supposed to Be Teaching Them)
On Getting Baptized

When she was five years old, Jhen relentlessly asked us if she could be baptized.  My husband, Jim, and I were hesitant – neither of us were keen on infant baptism, and we  weren’t sure Jhen knew exactly what it meant to be baptized.  She had prayed at the dinner table to receive Jesus into her heart many weeks previously, but baptism?  Such a big step for a  such a little lady!
One day, after worship service, our little lady ran off, and we were quite upset:  it was against our rules to run off away from our line of sight.  We eventually found her talking to our Pastor, and the scolding I was about to give her never happened as I watched her skip happily toward us, her face beaming.
“I told Pastor I want to be baptized,” she announced breathlessly.  “I told him I already asked Jesus into my heart a long time ago.”
A few nights later, Pastor came over to counsel her.  He talked to her about salvation, being born again, growing spiritually, et cetera, and he did his best to use words a five-year-old could understand.  I sat in another room and asked the Lord to lead and guide Pastor and us as we “witness” to our little girl.  We didn’t want to be hindrance to her spiritual growth, but baptism?  Such a big step for a such a little lady!
After Pastor left, I tried to talk to her and ask her about her decision, and all she did was complain about the fun she was missing outside as her sister and friends played.  Oh, well, I thought to myself, so much for that.  Baptism?    Too big a step for such a little lady.  
Later that evening, I was eventually able to coax her with a fudgesicle to join me in the back patio to have our discussion.  I asked her if she knew what sin was.  She said sin was doing something that makes God sad.  I asked her if she ever sinned, and she said yes, and that made her a sinner.  I asked her what sin does.  She said it keeps people from being with God.  I asked her if she knew what Jesus did for her sin.  She told me Jesus’ blood washed away her sins when He died on the cross;  she went on to say that she asked Jesus to forgive her for all the times she made Him sad.  Such a big thought for a such little lady!
Then I began talking to her about being born again, and spiritual growth, and all that good stuff.  I noticed that her eyes began to wander, and I knew I had lost her.  When I came to the part about the Bible being our spiritual food, I finally regained her attention.  Her eyes lit up as she her words came out.
“Momma, ‘member when Jimmy was just born, you had to feed him ALL THE TIME?  That’s like when you and daddy and Pastor Mark and Miss Janet tell me stories from the Bible or you ‘splain to me what the verses mean --  that’s like you’re all feeding me spiritual food, huh?”
She continued, my little lady, to “’splain” to me that as a baby  gets older, Mama has to be careful not to give food that’s too hot – Baby would get burned; too hard or too big – Baby would choke; or too spicy – Baby would get an upset tummy.
As she went on, my prepared speech on conviction, commitment, and competence went out the window.  Sure, she was still a little girl, and if she accepted Jesus as her Savior, it didn’t make a difference whether she were baptized next week or next year.  Baptism was not required for salvation, but it was the first step of obedience.  Who was I to stand in her way?
First things first, Mom, hold off on the meat.  Give her the infant formula that she can easily digest, and we’ll go from there. 
Such a BIG lesson from such a little lady.  She was baptized the following Sunday.

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