This past summer was a huge time of growth for Ben’s faith. In July, he aged out of the children’s wing and started coming with us to “big church” (as he calls it). His routine is to stand on a chair or in the aisle during praise & worship so that he can read the words on the screen and sing along – it’s so awesome to watch him! Then he settles in with the children’s bulletin (which has word puzzles and scripture lessons in it) while Max or Randy are delivering the message. I’ve wondered if I should ask him to put his colors down and listen, but he apparently can do two things at once because he usually has a few great questions or comments for us after each service. The messages seemed to be really stirring things in his heart and encouraging him.
At the end of the summer, I was baptized, and Ben’s attention was captured by the whole experience. A few nights later, at bedtime, he told his Daddy that he wanted to ask Jesus into his heart. Bri and I sat with him and talked and then prayed together. I am so grateful that the Holy Spirit moved in my sweet boy’s heart and that he feels called to know and walk with Jesus!
Since then, Ben’s asked about being baptized a few times and we honestly just haven’t gotten around to making it happen. God is good and He knows Ben’s heart better than we do, so on Good Friday he took away any and all road blocks. We were in church for the Easter service and Randy was speaking about baptism. Brian was sitting in between me and Ben when Ben whispered something to him and he whispered back. Then, because we’re so well-behaved in church, this happened.
Me: What did Ben say?
Bri: He wants to be baptized.
Me: What did YOU say?
Bri: I said that was really good,
and we would talk about it.
Me: There are a ton of ministers outside today to talk with people that want to be baptized.
We should just do it.
And that was that. Brian took Ben outside to meet with one of the ministers and I went down to the children’s wing to pick up Grace & Noah.
While we were waiting, Ben told me that he was jittery on the inside. He was all smiles and so excited. I am grateful that I happened to have the camera with us (I’d just taken pics of the kids in their Easter clothes) so we were able to capture the whole thing.
All smiles! Love him!
I wish I could have heard what he was saying. (We were mostly trying to keep Noah & Grace from going for a swim.)
I was able to get a brief video. It’s a little jumpy since I only had one free hand. (Again, other hand was restraining Noah).
One of the elders who baptized Ben encouraged us to go home and have him talk about or write down what he thought and how he felt. He had a Bible and a journal in his Easter basket, so I wrote a scripture and a couple questions for him on the first page.
This was the scripture I asked him to look up:
1 Peter 3: 18-22 Christ died for sins once and for all time. The One who did what is right died for those who don’t do right. He died to bring you to God. His body was put to death. But the Holy Spirit brought him back to life. By means of the spirit, Christ went and preached to the spirits in prison. Long ago they did not obey. God was patient while Noah was building the ark. He waited, but only a few people went into the ark. A total of eight were saved by means of water. The water of the flood is a picture of the baptism that now saves you also. The baptism I’m talking about has nothing to do with removing dirt from your body. Instead, it promises God that you will keep a clear sense of what is right and wrong. Jesus Christ has saved you by rising from the dead. He has gone into heaven. He is at God’s right hand. Angels, authorities and powers are under his control.
I asked him to write two things that he learned from reading that and he wrote:
1. Christ died for our sins, and
2. He was risen by the Holy Spirit.
I also asked him to write about what he felt like when he was baptized and he wrote:
“When I was baptized, it felt like the Holy Spirit was rushing through me like a whirlwind! It felt good.”
I am SOOO glad that we were given the idea to have Ben record his own thoughts… I hope it helps him to remember the experience as he grows.
Thank you, Jesus, for our Ben. Thank you for loving him even more than we do, which is so hard to understand, but so awesome at the same time!
Congratulations, Benji! We are so proud of you!