Tuesday, May 15, 2012

That, My Friend, is the Grace of God

Pre-baptism interview with Pastor Doug
     "Mom, I really want to get baptized."Our church was gearing up for baptism Sunday, and the deadline was closing in. My husband and I were not convinced she was old enough to grasp the meaning of baptism, but our daughter grew more persistent as the time drew near. We conversed with her about whether or not she really understood the commitment she was making, to live her life for Christ and walk according to the Spirit of God.

     A portion of that argument was brought to you by the fact that my husband and I were baptized together just five years ago, after an intense ride through the rapids of life.

     We read all about baptism and discussed it in the weeks leading up to the big day. Though she remained adamant, I thought I had convinced her to watch the baptisms this time and think about being baptized the next time it came around. I was wrong. Tired of my relentless questioning, she finally blurted out, "Mom, God wants me to get baptized!"

     Well, my argument was pretty much finished with that. I turned out the lights for bedtime as I agreed to get her a meeting with the pastor and see what he thought about baptizing her.
Declaration of faith

     My shy little girl, who had been afraid to death of standing in front of the church, now followed the pastor around, reminding him that she needed to talk when he had the time. That night, out of curiosity, I asked her, "How do you know God wants you to be baptized?"

     "Easy," she replied. "I asked Him and he said I should." She prayed about it, then had a dream with her answer.

      She was baptized a week ago Sunday based on her understanding that baptism is not salvation or a ticket into heaven, but on her desire to publicly declare her dedication to Christ. The miracle of that day will remain forever emblazoned in my memory.

     Where would our family be now if five years ago, we had succumbed to the brutal attack on our marriage? Turned, not toward God, but away from Him? My heart is eternally grateful for His work in our lives. As the pastor declared at the baptism, "That, my friend, is the grace of God."