Last night after a bit of a challenging day getting back into the swing of things with our school routine after Christmas Break and two extra little ones for most of the afternoon I was bummed to hear that Nathan was going to be late. The kids desperately needed to get to bed early and it’s very hard for them when they don’t get to see their Daddy. I dished up their dinner and was so tempted to skip our evening family devotional in an effort to get them down and settled for the night. But I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me and say “No…you’re going to stick to this”. So, I grabbed the book and the bible and we did our devotional over dinner in my typical efficient, save-time fashion.
I had no idea what I was in for! The story was titled “Too Late” and was about a little girl who missed a party over Christmas Break because she didn’t pay attention to the invitation she had received. She was very sad to hear all of the other girls talking about the party she had missed when she returned to school. When she told her parents they sympathized but reminded her there is another invitation people often ignore…God’s invitation to heaven through Jesus and there will come a day when it’s too late to accept that invitation and it will be much more sad than missing a party. At the end of the story was a question… “Have you accepted God’s invitation to heaven?” Emalynn piped right up… “I have! Jesus is my Savior.” I looked at our little 3-year-old Maxwell eating his soup and asked him “Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior so you can go to heaven?”
He stopped right then, put his spoon down, folded his little hands and closed his eyes as tight as he could and began to pray. “Jesus, please come into my heart so I can go to heaven. Thank you for loving us….and……and…..thank you….thank you….for dying on the cross for my sins.” When he opened his eyes I couldn’t help but fire my arms up in the air and yell “A Whew-hew!” You’d think I won the super bowl! I said “Maxwell! You just made the most important decision you’ll ever make! You’re going to heaven! You’re a Christian!” He yelled “Yup…I’m going to heaven, too!”
We immediately called Daddy and Maxwell told him the news. I told Nathan I was so sad he wasn’t there for this awesome experience…I was sad that he missed it. He said “That’s okay. I won’t miss him in heaven!” Very true…but as a mother I am so thankful to have been present when both of my oldest children made this important decision. It got me thinking after I put them to bed…the most important decision of a lifetime made by a 3-year-old…could that really be? How can Maxwell grasp the reverence of what Christ has done for us…the sacrifice, the amazing love? Doubt…doubt entered my mind. What am I studying this year? “Believing God Day By Day”. Then I remembered… Mark 10:14-15 says “(Jesus) said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” Maxwell believes and he received God’s gift of Salvation through trusting in Jesus because his death and resurrection for our sins…it’s as simple as that. He did make the most important decision of his life! And to think I was tempted to skip our devotional. Learned my lesson!
And that’s just it…I’m still learning. I’m 30 and if it’s one thing I learn everyday…I still need to learn everyday. I asked Christ to be my Savior at the age of 7 but it was the starting point of my journey of faith…one that won’t end until I get to heaven. It made me realize that our work with raising these children has only begun. I always say that these precious creatures are blessings but they really belong to God and I trust him completely with their lives. But that doesn’t relinquish my responsibility to teach them about Him. We are responsible to God for what he has given us and we have to look to Him for wisdom and relate everything back to Christ…because only what’s done for Christ will last.
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)