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.