Archive for November, 2013
Today we put up the Christmas tree. It’s always a joy to see how excited the kids get, and it’s an encouragement as we look at the various ornaments – out of sight for the past year – and the stories they tell about our lives. We have ornaments that mark our marriage, our children’s births, beloved pets, family vacations, important accomplishments and the like. These ornaments testify to God’s faithfulness in our lives – how he has provided for us, how he has directed our paths, how he has given us family, friends and each other in our journey through this life.
One of God’s greatest demonstrations of faithfulness to us will happen in just a couple of days when our two oldest children are baptized. I’ve written previously about Daniel’s conversion, which was sudden and dramatic, as many conversions are. Emmalee was a different story. Always a sweet girl with a caring, gentle spirit, Emmalee has shown evidences of God’s grace in her life for some time. She’s been telling us for the past several months that she wanted to be baptized . When she did, we’d talk to her about why she wanted to do so, what baptism meant and what the gospel message was. We wanted to be cautious, thinking that such a desire may have been just a passing fancy, and that at only 7 years of age, she may not have fully understood the significance of the matter.
But Emmalee persisted, and the more we have talked to her about baptism and salvation, the more we became convinced that God has indeed done a work of grace in her heart. We don’t know exactly the moment that the Lord changed her heart, but that’s not important. You don’t have to know when a tree was planted to recognize its fruit. After talking to our pastors, we decided that it would be fitting and appropriate for her to be baptized on the same day as her older brother.
What a joy that will be, witnessing two of my children make their public identification as followers of Christ. It is an answer to many years of fervent prayers. This has been the one thing that I’ve longed for more than anything else in life – to see my children come to Christ and to know that whatever may happen in this life, and however long I’ll have to spend with them here, a day is coming when I will be with them forever. My heart is flooded with joy and relief at that thought.
So as we begin another year of celebrating Christmas, we have many things to look forward to. We’ll enjoy watching the kids and the wonder and excitement that comes over them. We’ll have blessed times of fellowship with family and friends. But the thing I’ll remember the most from this Christmas season, and the blessing for which I am most grateful, will be the baptism of my two oldest children on Sunday. The Lord is truly faithful, and we are deeply thankful for it.