that wasn’t the plan
Last Friday I quickly typed out an unbelievable moment with my 4 year old. You can read (or have read) about that here.
What’s even crazier? The way the day ended.
Because of continued sickness, we stayed home all day. And given the conversation he and I had about bad choices & consequences, the next time he called his brother a name we went straight into correction.
We decided he should tell his brother 3 nice things, things he liked about him. A simple way to return honor for the name calling. And after doing so he asked if he could also wash windows. . . how could I say ‘no’ to that?
Windex trigger in hand, he coated the windows with blue fluid. His brother rushed over to catch the deluge with a paper towel. Together they washed a few inside windows and then moved to the outside. I followed them outside, knocking a “to do” item off my list, trimming some pecan limbs. Which led to making a teepee out of the limbs.
This is the result of what started with name calling . . .
But I haven’t even gotten to the best part of the story. . .
Later in the afternoon, I stared in the bathroom mirror applying make-up while the boys played in my bedroom.
And at the end of a Friday, at the end of a long week, the very last thing I wanted to do was a correct another act of disobedience.
But I happened to look up and see that same 4 year old directly disobey a request I had made. So I put the mascara down, walked over, took his hand and led him into my walk-in closet.
I sat on the floor, his cuddly body wrapped in my arms, and we talked about disobedience. That’s when he asked. . .
“Mom, why did God want us to make bad choices?”
Oh sweet son. That was never God’s plan.
His plan? To walk alongside us in a beautiful, peaceful place without work or pain. But then a woman believed a lie and disobeyed her loving God. And we’ve been stuck with the ugliness ever since.
God’s plan was for us to live in “shalom”…peace, harmony, wholeness, health, blessing. . .with Him.
But with sin comes the decision to disrupt His plan, choosing our way over God’s, and a separation between us and God occurred. But He loved us so much He couldn’t leave us like that, so He sent Jesus, His son, to save us and make things right with God again.
And then came the most shocking part of an already incredible only-God day. . .
“Mom, well, I believe in God.”
“You do?” (shocked because the night before Easter, while lying side-by-side in his bed, this 4 year old told me he didn’t believe God was real. We had chatted about how God believed in him. I shared all the reasons I believe God is real (my 8 year old chimed in with his own thoughts from the twin bed beside us).
“Yeah, and I believe in Jesus, too.”
“Wow! That’s great. Do you believe Jesus came to rescue you from sin and make things right with God? That he died and rose again?”
Then the miracle. He began to pray. . .
“Dear Lord, thank you that you didn’t want Adam and Eve to eat that apple. Thank you that you never gave up on us. Thank you that you sent Jesus to die for my sin on the cross and he rose again. Amen.”
His prayer began at a moment right when his two big brothers walked into the closet.
We all witnessed walls falls! Our faithful prayers for those Jericho walls to fall were answered just as quickly as back in Joshua’s time. And we celebrated (and continue to celebrate) because . . .
Only God. Only His Spirit could move a boy in one day to seek Him in so many ways.
When I woke up on that Friday morning, seeing a long day at the end of a long week, there were no elaborate evangelism plans on my to-do list. But God was moving.
Just like with my oldest two boys, there is change after the Cross. Of course, my son still sins (including hitting someone at the gym the next morning and refusing to apologize).
But there is a sensitivity to God he didn’t have before. An interest in knowing more about Jesus and sweet prayers at meals that have replaced the rote , “A,B,C,D,E,F,G thank you God for feeding me.”
Lord, Thank you for working in the hearts of my boys in ways I never could. Thank you for guiding them to reconciliation with you. Continue to work in our lives, refining us to choose Your way over our own. May the fruit of the Spirit be evident in our interactions. May we love one another as brothers and sisters in Christ, so others will know we belong to You because of our love. Amen.
Thank you for walking this journey with me and celebrating an only-God transformation.
If you wondered how to lead a child to a Personal Commitment to Christ, I just received this info from my Bible Study Fellowship class yesterday:
1. Teach biblical truth–at some point in your day spend time in God’s Word with your child. Whether it’s reading a story at bedtime, snuggling on the couch midday with the Jesus Storybook Bible, or it’s a formal devotional at the table, plant seeds of truth and God’s revelation in his/her hearts.
2. Live out the truth–as you walk along the way, your children are watching you, just as the disciples walked with Jesus. In ordinary living, relate God’s Word to your day. Pray before events or in times of need. Offer gratitude, “Thank you God for making this beautiful day.” “Thank you for giving me this food.”
3. Discern spiritual readiness–Trust God to prepare your child’s heart. Do not urge them, but be available to answer questions. Pray for God to move and pray for wisdom to know a true desire in your child’s heart and not from a desire to please you.
4. Answer patiently–there may be days of answering questions about sin, Jesus, salvation, long before a decision is made. I know in my situation, this son asked the most questions of any other child (about whether God hears him, what God looks like, etc.). It required listening and patiently answering his questions. Taking time during correction to talk about God’s plan for good.
5. Lead them to pray–Do you know the key aspects of salvation? If you need a guide, there is one here.