We’re approaching three years with James. Time has flown by, and I’ve been quiet here on the blog for quite a while, and for good reason. I’ve been super busy, and honestly, we’ve kind of just been plugging along without much to report. Until now…
On Mother’s Day of this year, James was baptized. He was saved a few days before in the bathtub of the old Schoolhouse where we spend much of our time. You can read about that in the archives. But things were kind of quiet for a while after that. We definitely noticed a change in James, but it was the still, quiet, small changes that you probably wouldn’t notice unless you knew him really, really well.
Then school started, and in the last couple of months, James has awakened. One night we came home from church, and James told Tim and I about a child who was there who had acted up. Instead of being mad about it, he said so sincerely,
“It made me sad to see him that way, because I was just like him a couple of years ago. I was mad all the time, and I just felt horrible. I know what he’s going through.”
Tim and I kind of looked at each other, half puzzled and half thrilled, and said, “Yeah, James, that’s what it’s like when God softens your heart toward someone. He probably wants you to pray for them.”
A little while later, he came to Tim after the Wednesday night service and expressed concern for a friend who hadn’t yet been saved. He was so intent on seeing his friend come to know Jesus. We told him to keep praying for his friend…and he has. Faithfully.
Every morning, he starts with his Bible study, and instead of blowing over it, he looks up every single verse, and really considers his answers carefully. He keeps a Bible beside his bed, and often tells me what he’s been reading lately.
We also noticed that his heart is more recpetive to correction now. Where he used to argue, complain, and defend himself, he seems to be content with confessing and making it right.
He asks 1.2 million questions per hour. But we don’t mind (for the most part). They are the great questions, the ones that grow faith and strengthen our spiritual walk. He’s compassionate toward the plight of less privileged people all around the world. He seems to have a deeper understanding of hurting people than I ever will.
And then there was that moment in the hallway at church the other night. A little boy in foster care needed some extra love, so Tim asked James if he would mind talking to him. James patiently sat with him, and told his story, and then he said, “It’s hard. It’s really hard. It’s so hard.” And he started tearing up.
And then I tear up, and I think, Wow, God, you sure can surprise us, can’t you?
Because it wasn’t that long ago that I was crying for a very different reason, wondering if anything that we said or did was getting through. Frustrated because it seemed like we were up against a brick wall.
And we were. But God wasn’t. He knew what He was doing, and He wanted to make sure that we all knew that it was, in fact, Him doing it. Not me, not Tim…Him.
And once again, I’m in awe, getting a front row seat to see a visible change in someone. A spiritual awakening. I’m seeing the Almighty, the One and Only, the Alpha and Omega, transform a heart right before my eyes. And I think, Why me, Father? Why do you lavish such love and blessings on me, a pitiful sinner?
James when he had been with us for about three months.
Maybe it’s because we were just crazy enough to say yes to this mission that God put before us. Or maybe He just loves to work in our lives and point us back to His glory.
I’m not ready to say we’re at the finish line…I mean, are you ever at the finish line with your kids? I didn’t think so. I know that his little mind still has questions and whys and what ifs. I know we still have plenty to deal with as he grows and changes. But right now, I’m basking in the glory of a changed soul.
In school, we’ve been studying five of the major worldviews (besides the Biblical Worldview). This is always a two-edged sword. It’s great for opening kids’ eyes to the world around them and softening their hearts toward people who need Jesus. But it’s also tough to learn. Yesterday, James asked me, Mom, there are so many religions out there. How do we know that this one is the right one? How can we be sure, sure, sure?
I know, it can be a scary question, but everyone grapples with these questions at some point. I was excited to see him thinking and seeking truth especially in a world where truth often seems either non-existent or fluid. And I believe that the Holy Spirit lead me, because I don’t think fast enough to be able to come up with a multiple-point apologetic response. So I wanted to share it here with you…in case you need it.
James, that’s a great question, and it’s one that pretty much everyone deals with at some point in their life. There are a few ways that we know that our God is the one, true God. First, there is evidence that supports the events in the Bible and you’re reading about that in The Case for Christ series right now. Second, somewhere around 40 authors were inspired by God to write the Bible. They lived at different times and different places, and yet, they all had the same central message..Jesus. Of course, there is an element of faith. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who believe without seeing.” (John 20:29) And finally, James, I know that our God is real and true because even though I can’t physically see Him, I see Him at work in my life, and I see Him working in yours.
And then I shared some specific times that we have seen God clearly at work in our lives and encouraged James to look for God in his every day life. Pray in accordance with God’s word, and watch Him deliver on His promises.
It is one of the greatest blessings of a parent’s life to see their children being transformed by God. It is the prayer of my heart being answered before my eyes. But this one…this almost feels like a double blessing.