For about the last year Kevin and I have been having spiritual conversations with Emma. It all started when she began seeing her friends get baptized. She all of a sudden wanted to do it, too. But I think it was all about the novelty of getting to hop into a hot tub at church. Still, this led us on a journey of teaching and talking with her more and more about sin, Heaven, Hell, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Every day we have been doing our Bible lessons in school. Emma has become quite the whiz at looking up scripture. And lately I had started noticing a spark in her eyes and a lift in her voice, as if when she read her Bible out loud it really meant something to her. It was like she was truly trying to understand what it was saying and not just get her school work done.
Just last Sunday a man spoke to the children at church. He was an illusionist and ventriliquist. And in the middle of his performance I heard that he shared the Gospel a number of times. And that, I believe, was the event that brought about a moment of understanding for Emma. The pieces started to connect. Somehow this week all of her head knowledge about Jesus dying on the cross to save her from her sins and make it possible for her to have eternal life in Heaven made its way down into her heart.
As one event led to another, today Kevin told Emma that soon we would be having another baptism at Cool River. They talked and once again she told him that she wanted to be baptized. Then tonight as I was reading to her before bedtime (an absolutely incredible book called "Leading Little Ones to God" that we have been reading for about a month now) I asked her if she had ever prayed the prayer to ask Jesus into her heart. She said "yes." - though she couldn't give me any details as to what she said.
Up until today I have been very skeptical that she truly understood the whole salvation and baptism thing. But today, I know. My own spirit is confident that as much as her little mind can comprehend right now, she gets it. She loves God and Jesus and wants to be with God in Heaven forever. She knows that her sin separated her from God. And tonight, as I sat on her bed and helped her to pray once again, she asked Jesus into her heart. Granted, I did not hear her words. She did not want to say them out loud. But I "heard" them. They were real. And her face lit up afterwards, knowing that something very special and important had just occured.
And as she ran downstairs to tell her Daddy that she had just prayed "the Jesus prayer" I knew once again that God had been faithful. For it is by nothing that I did that drew Emma's heart to God. Kevin and I gave her lots of head knowledge, but it was the Holy Spirit who drew her little 7 year old heart to his today.
So Emma's journey has just begun. . .