Sunday, March 31, 2013

No Greater Joy

I've always enjoyed teaching kids.  I can remember back to the days when I myself was a student.  I was always finished early, so I would help my friends.  It came as no surprise to anyone when I became a teacher and later on, involved in Children's Ministry.  I know that talent comes from the Lord and it only makes sense to use it for His glory.  I was very happily serving His children.

And then He told me to shift focus.  Instead of being Children's Ministry Director at church, I would be Children's Ministry Director at home.  I'll let that sink in for a little bit.

My focus shifted from His Kidz to MY kids (they are still His Kidz, but mine as well).  At home, you are always "on".  It's not just 2 hours/week.  They see it all.  The good, bad, and the (sometimes) ugly.  It's good though.  They have learned a lot about forgiveness by me having to ask them to forgive me.  They see when I do (and don't) pick up my Bible to study.  They see if I truly walk the walk; and when I sometimes stumble.

And yet, despite me and my sinful nature, both have become (little) Men of God.  Not one week after I shifted focus, Jack asked Jesus into his heart.  So out of the blue.  So genuine.  A year and a half later, he told me he wanted to get baptized.  And he did.

This past Friday, Good Friday to be exact, we stood at the water's edge, taking a reprieve from the hot, dusty hike. Joshua said, "I wish there was a pastor here." Strange comment out of the blue. I asked him why. He very solemnly said, "because I want to ask Jesus into my heart." And that's just how it happened. Not after pressuring him. In his own time.

Although Jack took a year and a half to be ready for baptism, Joshua was very adamant that he wanted to be baptized right away.  Just so happens that church was doing baptisms this Sunday, Easter Sunday.  Easter.  A time of rebirth.  New birth.  

He could hardly stand the excitement when he woke up.  He pulled the tape off the tomb (a.k.a., the oven) to see our Easter Story Cookies.  He quickly got dressed.  He practically dragged us out the door to church.  He squirmed in his seat through the whole service, whispering, "when do I get bap-a-tized?"

When it was finally time for him to go on stage, he looked so little.  His little arms and bare chest.  A mere babe.  I mean, his head barely showed over the baptismal.  Yet, he is already a (little) Man of God.

 Pastor Ernie asked him why he wanted to get baptized.  Josh whispered it in his ear.
 Look at that eager face.  So full of joy.
 A new creation.

Praying with Pastor Ernie after being baptized.  Joe was standing right off to the side to cover him with a towel.  Josh looked up at him, with a completely peaceful face, and said, "I feel so clean."  Ah, the faith of a child.

"I have no greater joy than to know that my children walk in the truth." 3 John 1:4

where Glory meets my suffering