- Religion and Philosophy
A Child's Dream from God
As a young child, I remember sitting in children's church week after week, praying along with the teacher, and asking for Jesus to "come into my heart". I knew I loved Jesus, for what I could understand of love and Jesus' purpose of His sacrifice at the time, but when I became a teenager, it really hit me. The sacrifice of Jesus was so purposeful and so intimate. He loves ME! He knew MY name! He died in MY place! Realizing the depth of the grace I was given (again, for what I could understand of it as a 13 year old), I was convinced that a young child really doesn't have the understanding to be able to comprehend such things. This brings me to the lesson God has taught me through my young son:
Rate the Importance of Children's Church:
My Son's Dream from God:
Nearing the end of a great week of Vacation Bible School, my 6 year old son's teacher came to the class I was leading, and told me my son had become saved. I smiled and thought it was cute. I loved that my son really enjoyed learning about God and being so involved in church. I felt some parental gratification that I was bringing my children up in a GoOD manner. I talked to him a little bit about it on the way home that afternoon. He told me that he had prayed and accepted Jesus. I was very skeptical because of all the stereotypical VBS excitement, that I didn't dig too deep into his testimony. I asked him a few questions, and told him we would wait to have him baptized until he was older and understood more. He was just fine with that, but... apparently, God wasn't.
I have to start by saying my son is normally extremely difficult to wake up in the mornings, especially after going to bed late, like we did the night before, but this Sunday morning was totally different. It was time to wake my children and get everyone ready for church. As I stood over my son's bed, I just watched him sleep, and I began to thank God for giving me my wonderful children. I remember feeling ungrateful, because I wasn't sure if I had ever truly thanked God for my children before. I, then, touched my son's hand to take his thumb out of his mouth, and he quickly woke up with bright eyes and a huge smile on his face. The first words out of his mouth were, "I just had the funnest dream ever!" I was so surprised with his excitement so early in the morning that I couldn't wait to hear about the dream. I sat down next to him and he began, "I was getting baptized in the dream, and so were a bunch of other little kids." I'm just listening and nodding along saying, oh yeah? He started all the way from the beginning of the dream. He was trying to describe where they were in the church, "...that place up high, in the back, where you can see through, with the glass and the water." We finally concluded that they were in the baptistery. Then he got to the part where he grabbed my full attention, so much so that I was almost in total shock. He continued, "There was this really tall man with bright white hair and head... and He baptized me." I actually had to stop him in the middle of his story and ask him to repeat himself. I was just in awe. I've never discussed this with my children. I've never heard one preacher ever preach about it. I am my children's Bible class teacher, so they didn't get it there. How did he know this? After hearing his dream, I raced to a Bible, flipping through to Revelation 1:14 just to check to see if I was remembering correctly. Even I had only read it for myself for the first time a couple months prior.
"His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire."
I was in shock that my son had, in fact, described Jesus. I asked him who was baptizing him. Was it a preacher, someone's dad? He answered, very seriously and with no hesitation, "It was God". I asked him how he knew, and he said "Well, I couldn't see Him, but I knew where He was because He would touch me, and I knew where to go when He touched me." I confusingly asked him "If you couldn't see Him, how did you know what He looked like?" He simply said,"I just knew." I was genuinely shocked with what my 6 year old was saying. All God had to do was touch him, and he knew what Jesus looked like, where God was in his life, and where to go to follow Him. Talk about knowing the voice of your Master!! I asked him if he could see Jesus' face. He told me no, it was just a bright, bright white. Then my son told me that I woke him up at the best part... He was in the hallway giving Jesus a hug.
What was God Teaching Me?
Before getting ready for church, I really had to stop and pray for guidance about what the dream was intended to mean. It was obvious that it was directly from God, since my son saw Jesus. Not the Jesus that was on earth 2,000 years ago... the glorified Jesus that is seated at the right hand of God! After I started asking God what He wanted me to do with this dream, my son popped in my room and said, "Oh yeah, I forgot. In the dream, all the kids got baptized two times." Now I was really confused. I asked him why, and was completely put in my place by God through my 6 year old's words. "The first time I got baptized, I was a little kid. That was to show everyone how much I love Jesus. And the second time, I was 10 years old, and that was to show everyone that I really understood what a savior was." Needless to say, I was speechless as this point. I spent most of the morning praying while I was getting ready for church. The whole time, God kept reminding me of Matthew 18:3 "and Jesus said 'unless you change and become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven." I can't even begin to properly explain how excited I still am that my son has not only gotten to see Jesus, but was personally baptized by Him, even if just in vision. If my son's simple faith and love is GoOD enough for Jesus... then it is surely good enough for me. He was baptized right after his 10 year old sister (who had made a decision for Jesus earlier that year) that VERY Sunday afternoon!
God really put me in my place, and has completely change my heart and view of children accepting Christ and being baptized. I was always taught, and believed, that you had to believe and understand certain things and be able to answers certain questions, while truly meaning it in your heart. I guess it just goes to show that God truly knows what is in our hearts, and my little son's love for Jesus was enough to please our great God. The part where he got baptized the second time really helped me realize that our relationship with God starts with just plainly loving Jesus, and the rest comes with maturing and growing in faith. 1 Peter 2:2 (a memory verse that God had me pick out to use for VBS that summer) has so much deeper of a meaning for me now. "Like newborn infants, long for the spiritual milk that by it you may grow up into salvation." AMEN!!!!
Before leaving for church that morning, I wound up asking my son when he prayed to Jesus. I, of course, assumed that he repeated a prayer the teacher said like most kids at VBS, but I was wrong. He told me that they were in their missions class, writing letters and drawing pictures to send to missionaries, and he decided to start praying to Jesus. I was really ashamed of myself for just assuming, and not asking him about that sooner. I guess we really should give little children more credit than we do... Jesus does.
God Answers Prayer!!!
Earlier that year, maybe 3 or 4 months prior to my son's dream, I had a very long prayer with God about what I needed to do to ensure my children would embrace Jesus, and not grow up into this world instead. I still remember His direct, loud, and clear answer to me, and will remember it clearly for the rest of my life. "LIVE IT", were the words that ran through my entire spirit, soul, heart, mind... whatever you want to call it. I knew God was telling me to simply LIVE the way He has taught us to live through the Holy Spirit, Jesus' example, and scriptures, and my children would be just fine. My God is the God of truth!!! Only a few short months later, my third child gave his heart and life to Jesus. I'm so proud of my wonderful children for choosing to love Jesus.
-Thank you Father, for taking care of my babies!!! I know they were and are your babies first, so thank you for giving them to me to raise. Please continue to help me raise them as you would raise them yourself.- AMEN!!!!
What an awesome God we serve!!!!