Have you ever learned an important spiritual lesson from your children? So many times I get wrapped up in what I know. I am the mommy, afterall! And they are wrong so much of the time, that it can be easy to set aside the fact that they are the ones Christ referred to as having the most pure faith. I mean, they pray to God for stuffed animals...what kind of understanding could a little person really have? But you know, I learned last night (for the 100th time...someday it will stick!) that our little ones have a lot to teach us about the heart of God. My son was my hero last night. He had the guts to ask questions and do things I stumble over. He displayed his love and faith unapologetically and with a sense of urgency I have a thing or two to learn about. I am so abundantly blessed.
Last night started like any bedtime...get on jammies, hang out with mom and dad, eat a snack, brush teeth, make our way to bedrooms. Typically Allan would take the girls and I would take Corbin. Allan reads a bedtime story to them and prays with them. Last night Corbin insisted on staying for prayer and added his own precious rendition of "Thank you for this day.."
After the prayer was over I took him to his own room and we got situated and turned out the light. I still sit next to his bed while he's falling asleep, but last night he wouldn't stop wiggling. I asked him several times to be quiet and lay down, but he kept gabbing and putting his feet off the bed. He asked me to pray with him 3 more times. I obliged and on the 3rd time I said, "Honey, you can talk to Jesus anytime you want to, but tonight you need to GO.TO.SLEEP!"
He continued asking me questions and said, "Mommy, where does Jesus live?" I said, "well, He lives in your heart if you ask Him to." I'll continue this conversation below as dialogue.
C-"Mommy, I want to ask Jesus to live in MY heart."
M-"Okay, you have to say the prayer and then He comes to live in your heart forever."
C-"We will say it."
Then I got to lead him in the prayer of salvation, which looks a little something like this (my version) for a 2-year-old:
"Dear God, I know that sometimes I can be very naughty. And I know that sometimes I don't deserve Your love, but I know that you sent your son Jesus to die on the cross for when I am naughty. Thank you for bringing Him back to life and for always loving me, no matter what. Amen."
I was already pretty impressed with my big boy, and as we laid there in the dark, looking at each other, excited, he said,
"MOM! Jesus lives in my heart now!"
M-"I know! I am so excited, we are brother and sister in Christ now!"
C-"Because He lives in your heart, too?"
C-"Does He live in Daddy's heart?"
M-"He sure does!"
C-"Does Jesus live in Violet's heart?"
I paused here. Violet has the very clear spiritual gift of encouragement, and she loves God, but I don't know that she's ever clearly expressed her need for a savior. Truthfully, until last night I wasn't sure a 4-year-old (much less a 2 year old!) could...So I responded with,
"I don't know sweetheart. We'll have to ask her in the morning."
C- (sitting up straight with a very urgent look on his face) "NO! We have to ask her NOW!"
His vehemency put me on guard. The mom part of me wanted to tell him to lay down and quit defying me. The superstitious part of me wondered if something terrible was going to happen and Violet needed Christ NOW. Thankfully the Holy Spirit is around for situations like that and He helped me say,
"Okay, Corbin. We'll call her in and ask her." I didn't really know what I was going to say, but that didn't matter either. I was covered. I called Violet in and she came wandering over to Corbin's bed. He sat up and they sat together on the edge of his bed. He looked at her very tenderly and said,
"Violet, does Jesus live in your heart?"
V-"Hmm, I don't know!"
C-"Do you want Him to?"
V-" YES! I do!"
C-"Then you need to say this prayer with Mommy now."
And then I got to lead my youngest daughter in the prayer of salvation.
Afterwards there were lots of hugs and wahoos and we called Daddy up and then everyone went to bed, full hearts and happy faces. When the girls left Corbin's room, with Allan ushering them out, GraceAnne said to her Daddy, "I remember when *I* said the prayer of salvation, Dad! It was May 17th. Mom and I were reading the book about people around the world and I asked Jesus to save me so I could help them. Dad, we have to do something tomorrow to celebrate." Wow...who am I? I don't deserve this kind of extravagant love, but I am so grateful for it!
As I sat there in the dark, looking at my son, he lifted his head one more time and said,
"Mommy...I don't want there to be any more snakes in this home."
I don't begin to have a clue what he meant. Could he have sensed that the devil's always looking for someone to devour and our family is no different? Maybe not, but then again, I never thought I'd see a 2-year-old lead his 4-year-old sister to salvation in Christ, either.
So I smiled and told him there are no snakes and he drifted off to sleep, content.
This story means nothing to some people. It means I am full of hocus pocus to others. It means I am crazy and brainwashing my children to still others, but I KNOW that there is someone out there who needs to hear this story. I know that there is someone out there who will see the same miracle in it that our family did.
Truly, I would never in a million years have believed that something like that could happen unless I saw it, but OH! I saw it. I was there, to hold Corbin's tiny hand and pray with him. It makes me marvel to think-of all the people he could have asked to say that prayer with him through the years...God allowed it to be ME. It also makes me marvel to think, Corbin is more articulate than his sisters were at his age (and they were pretty well-versed!) He speaks more clearly and chats MUCH more than other boys his age. Did God make him that way so that he could lead his sister to Him at age 2?
My head has been swirling since then. I don't even know what to say here other than to beg everyone to give their children a chance. I know I understood more than all the grown-ups around me thought I did when I was little. Now I know they understand much more than I thought they did. Don't think to yourself that they can't handle it. When I decided to trash the cheesy homeschool bible study and just read straight from scripture to the kids-I won't lie. There are some things in there that are hard to read to little people. The Noah story is great in a storybook, but not so incredible from the actual text. I wondered if I was making the wrong choice, but what if that is why they understand Christ? Because their parents never watered down the truth or backed away from hard questions...
Don't get me wrong, last nights' miracle has absolutely nothing to do with me, but only the grace of God. And I'm so grateful for that grace!