Friday, February 08, 2008

Big things and little packages...

Last Wednesday night, Jeremiah (my 7 year old) and I were riding home in my truck when he asked me if I thought his teachers would let him take his Bible to recess.

"I'm not sure, bud. Why?" was my reply.

His response was thoughtful, "Well, I realized tonight that I am not spreading God's Word like I should be."

Now, you've got to understand that this kind of conversation is normal with Jeremiah. He thinks things thru. Sometimes that keeps him from focusing on the task at hand because he has not resolved an earlier issue in his mind. I have to say that I really look forward to these talks, and could tell that a real deep conversation was about to ensue.

"Could you write down the words I prayed when I became a Christian?" he continued.

My response was one of encouragement, "Well, I can. But can you tell me what you prayed about that night?" He and Cayla (then 5 but now 6) had come to me a few months ago to tell me they were ready to follow Christ and understood their need for Him. They just needed me to "help them with the words."

"Well," he said, "I told Jesus He could have my life and that I needed him to wash my sins away. And I thanked Him for dieing on the cross for me so I could live with Him forever."

"Can you remember that and make it into a prayer?" I continued.

"I think so." he said, as he thought for a moment. "Dad, could you just help me by writing down the words on a skinny piece of paper I can keep in my pocket so I can remember them better? I want to share Jesus with my friends and if you could write that down it would help me remember."

"Sure, buddy. I can do that."

We got home, ate a quick dinner, and headed for his room to do our devotional time and pray. We do that every night that I am home. During our time of prayer, I mentioned Jeremiah's friends to the Lord, and asked Him to give Jeremiah the right words and the right opportunity. At that point, Jeremiah hid his face. His posture indicated that he was crying...

So I asked, "What's wrong, Jeremiah?"

He just buried his face in his pillow, obviously embarrassed that he was crying.

"It's okay to cry for your friends, son. As a matter of fact, it's a very good thing that you are crying for your friends," I whispered as I scooped him up in my arms. He was in his boxer-briefs with Spiderman on them, tightly gripping his stuffed dog, Scruffy. "I wish more people would weep for their lost friends."

"I want them to know Jesus," he sobbed in response.

I took his little chin in my hand and gently turned his head until our eyes met. He quickly wiped the tears away as he did that little "stutter breath" that children do when they are crying. As he looked me square in the eye, I again whispered to him, "I am proud of you. We all should be moved for our friends like you are. God has laid your friends on your heart for a reason."

"I know," he quivered. "And I am going to share Jesus with them tomorrow."

He said his prayer, and on this night, he included his lost friends by name, asking Jesus to help them be saved. As he said, "Amen," I tucked him in, bent over and kissed him on the forehead, and whispered, "I'm proud of you. I love you. Thank you for inspiring me."

"I love you, too, Daddy. You're welcome."

Big things come in little packages.

The next morning, yesterday morning, he reminded me that he needed me to write out a prayer for him to use when he talks to his friends about Jesus. "I want to make sure I know how to help them pray," he added to his reminder. So, I wrote out the prayer that he and Cayla had prayed. I wrote it in bite-sized phrases so that Jeremiah could have them "repeat after him," as he put it. And off to school he went.

All day yesterday I anxiously awaited a phone call from the school telling me that Jeremiah was in trouble for what he'd gone to do that day. I could just imagine it, "Mr. Bishop. You can not send Jeremiah to school with a prayer in his pocket trying to save his friends. It's just not appropriate." It never came.

Caryn and I picked them up at 3 that afternoon, and took them to the Mall for a soda and a pretzel. As we sat and ate our pretzels, I asked Jeremiah how it had gone at school that day. He immediately perked up.

"It went GREAT! Brian and Rick repeated after me and became Christians today."

"Really?" I asked. "How did you get to that point?"

"Oh, that was easy. I just asked them if they wanted to become Christians and give their life to Jesus. They both said yes, so I led them in the prayer you wrote for me. Rick was really excited afterward! It was cool."

And now it was my turn to weep. He really gets it, even more so than I do. It really is easy. Really. I pictured the whole conversation in my mind: Three little boys sitting at lunch, Jeremiah leading them as they pray. And I was deeply moved as I realized that Jeremiah, at age 7, had just done more for the kingdom than some people will do in their lifetime. He had just led more people to Christ than 90% of "Christians" will in their time here on earth. And I was overwhelmed by it and grateful. God has blessed us with GREAT kids. We don't deserve them. If anything, I deserve what I heard my mom say OVER AND OVER again when I was a kid..."I hope your kids treat you like this."

Today, Jeremiah will be talking with some more friends about Jesus. And he is going to talk to Brian and Rick about getting together and reading the Bible at recess once a week or something to that end.

"What if they don't have Bibles, Dad? Can we get them one?"

"Yes, bud. We can get them Bibles if they need them."

He knows that he is supposed to be spreading God's Word. He gets the fact that means he is to share with the lost and teach the found. And he's doing both. Pray for my little barbarian as he and his hordes begin to overrun the school! Revival is coming. A great big revival is coming and it's packaged in tiny little boys and girls who are going to one day save the universe!


linley said...

This just touched me beyond belief. Thank you Jeremiah. And thank you Jason for sharing.

Anonymous said...

What an amazing story! The insight and deep thinking remind me of my precious daughter when she was about that age.

Anonymous said...

That is absolutely incredible and encouraging. Love yall so much. - Nick Jones