3.4.06

"When is God going under the water?"

Yesterday, I had a long discussion about baptism, the presence of God, and the effectiveness of prayer with someone who has not yet given their life to the Lord... It was my three-year-old son.

He attended his first baptism after the meeting on Sunday, and it provoked a whole stream of questions that lasted right through to his bed-time.

As we stood by the side of the pool he asked, "When is God going under the water?" During the event, the air-con kicked in, and caused a noise to fill the room; "It's working!" he exclaimed. Afterwards he asked me "Are they in God's heart now?"

They may seem like amusing questions, and misunderstandings. But I was provoked by his faith. He had an expectation that God was going to be there, and was looking out for a real sign of his presence. He also had already grasped that this was a significant event in their relationship with God. I affirmed all his questions, without making him feel silly for asking them, and tried to communicate to him what was happening.

God is already under the water, because he is everywhere. Yes, it is working, but not because of the noise. It is because Jesus is already in their hearts, and he is the most important person to them, that they want to do what Jesus tells them, and go under the water for him.

On the way home, he asked me again and again, "Who went under the water?" It also provoked the discussion about God being everywhere. "When I play with Thomas the Tank Engine, God is there?" - "Yes." "When I play with Percy?" - "Yes." "And Henry?" - "Yes." etc. etc.

I was provoked by his faith again later in the day. He received a toy for his birthday (Saturday) that needed a battery, so I had the crazy idea that we could take the umbrella and walk through the wind and the rain to the shops to get one. The rain wasn't too bad, but the wind was bitter. Michael told me it was making him have tears, and that he wanted the wind to stop. I told him that he would have to ask Jesus, which he promptly did: "Please Jesus, make it not very windy. AMEN!" We carried on a few paces, and he asked me. "Dada, when is it going to happen?" He expected the prayer to work... and why not?! I felt very challenged, because I have to confess, even though I suggested the idea, I did not really have the faith that it would happen. We went into the shop and bought the battery, and as I was thinking how to explain to him that God does not always answer our prayers, we walked out of the shop into sunshine and calm! "Thank you Jesus, for making the wind go away!" he said.

I can see why Jesus loved child-like faith! It's a real provocation!

He may not have "come to faith" in Jesus as his Lord, but he certainly has faith in Jesus, as a loving God who answers our prayers, and is always with us.

6 comments:

Todd said...

Hey Chris. Great post. God uses our kids to teach us lots. My 11 year old son James gave Shannon and I a word from God yesterday. Thanks also for your in-depth posts from the word. I appreciate it and you

carl said...

My son recently asked us a string of questions along a similar line. This was just the most recent in several years worth of planting and watering. This time however was THE time. My wife and I just cried. That's all we could do.
That little one of yours is marked.

UKSteve said...

That's a cool story. Glad I happened by today. :)

Kev C said...

You know what they say Chris... 'out of the mouths of babes'. A chip of the block clearly, great story Chris. Blessings.

Ricky Carvel said...

Hmmm. My four year old just asks questions like "Why do we only sing Jesus songs in church? Why can't we sing songs about horses?"

Your comment about the difference between "coming to faith" and "having faith" made me think. I always remember the assistant minister in the church that I grew up in insisting (at great length) that the children of Christians shoud not need to be converted as, if we raise them correctly, there should be no state that they need converted from. He said that the choice for them would be whether or not to opt out of the kingdom, rather than having to choose to opt in and follow Jesus.

That kind of parallels with my experience. At the age of about 10 I conciously opted out (I can remember the moment quite clearly) and then opted back in again about 8 years later (another clearly remembered moment). I know there are some who would say that I wasn't really a Christian to begin with, but I'm really not sure about that.

Chris HH said...

Hi Ricky, I know others with similar testimonies; they grew up with Jesus and cannot recall a time when he was not Lord of their life.

However one thing is clear from the account of Old Testament Israel: just being brought up in an environment where God is present, and where there are people of faith, is not in itself sufficient. Everyone has to come to a point of finding their own personal vibrant faith in the Lord.

Having faith that God is who he is, is not sufficient either. The scriptures tell us that even the demons have this kind of faith.

By "coming to faith", I mean coming to the point of faith that does make a difference. Where the old life is surrendered and the new life begins. We may not understand it fully at the time, we may not even remember precisely when it happened, but everyone who is born again has had such a moment.