At 10 years of age, Graham is our oldest. Literally, since he was this age I’ve been sharing the gospel with him. From their earliest days, I’ve prayed for our children to place their faith in Christ. I love the Good News. I’ve shared it lots of places and lots of times. It has been important to me to share it here at home and to model to my children how to share it with others. So as Graham grew and began to speak, and as I continued to share this Good News, we would come to a point in our conversation where I’d ask, “Do you want to ask Jesus to be in charge of your life?” This is how I put making this all important decision into words because we are essentially telling God that we want Him to be in control of our lives. We want to live our lives no longer for ourselves but for Him. Well, this little 3, 4, 5, year old would tell me emphatically, “No!”. I was usually a tad bit surprised, but I also was glad he was not just making some decision that he truly did not understand nor that I was forcing him to do. The time came for Graham to enter kindergarten, and I was left alone all day with just 3 kiddos. On the 2nd or 3rd week of school, we were running errands–trying to find some baseball pants for Graham to be exact. 4 year old Little Sister, Abby Grace, saw a cross as we drove. She began asking lots of questions. When we returned home, I pulled out my trusty Good News Glove and clearly shared the gospel with her. This was not the first time she had heard this message. You know “they” say one has to hear it at least 7 times before a commitment is made (or something like that). I remember when I asked her if she would like to pray and ask Jesus to be in charge of her life, she said, “Yes.” I kept explaining it to her, wondering if she really did “get” it. She bowed and prayed with child-like faith for Jesus to forgive her of her sins and to come in to her life and take control of it. We have definitely seen evidence of His work in her life over these years. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6
When our kindergartener returned home, Sister was excited to share her news with him. Upon hearing about it, his reply? “Oh, I did that a long time ago.” Really? When? “Last summer…in my room.. by myself.” So later that fall both kiddos took a New Christians Class at our church. Then we began hosting a slew of outreaches in our home around holidays where every guest hears a clear gospel presentation. Graham continued to memorize more verses than one can imagine through our AWANA program at church. I started a Good News Club at our local, public elementary school where the Good News is clearly shared each week. Last summer Graham traveled with us to Guatemala with GAiN where we shared the gospel daily. This past year I noticed a list of about 5 boys on a small scrap of paper. Those were boys he has been praying to place their faith in Christ. One day he told me that he asked one of these boys (who has come to the parties in our home many times and attends the Good News Club) if he had “asked Jesus to be his Lord and Savior.” He said he had not, and then he said, “I want him to really bad!” (Yes, I know, “badly” is the correct word here. What are they teaching in school these days?!)
Now it is July 7, 2013, and we are in a team meeting the day before we begin ministry in the mountains of San Juan Cotzal, Guatemala. We are talking through and writing out our own personal stories. Graham begins struggling to write his. I tell him to write about asking Jesus to take control of his life….”you know, like you said you did in your room?” I move on to help Abby Grace with hers only to look over a few minutes later to see Dwayne leading Graham in a prayer to place his faith in Christ! Then I begin to think about all of the verses he has committed to memory, the boys he has on a list on his dresser, the times he has heard me (let alone others) share the Good News over and over again. And then I recall James says, “You believe in one God? You do well. Even the demons believe and shudder.” I am thankful Graham knows lots of scripture, and has heard the gospel shared a million times–and has shared it himself, and is developing a heart to want others to have a relationship with God. But I know our enemy also knows scripture. In fact, he sometimes twists it and uses it to deceive us. “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. “ 1 Peter 5:8 I am even more grateful that it is Jesus who pursues a relationship with us. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20
Thank you, Father, for allowing Graham to hear Your voice in the mountains of Guatemala….
and for coming to seek and to save that which was lost… even when we didn’t realize we were lost!