Today started at 6 am with a friend, talking about the salvation of our children.
It ended tonight with Eli asking on his own "Am I a believer?"
It is a profound intense feeling, holding one God has given you and knowing you are entrusted with teaching Him about the Father.
He has been attending an "Upwards" basketball program at the Baptist church near our home. Tonight, he was proud - he shot 10 hoops straight in a row, and was the only kid who won a star for learning his memory verse. I am beyond thankful for how God uses this church and these people to teach my son about Him - esp. tonight.
"For God so loved the world that he gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16
They gave him a bible tonight - the "Upwards Basketball version" - so way cool for him, and already he cherishes it. He wanted to read it. As I was tucking Julia in bed, he looked for what he wanted to read. He came across Mark 16 - and following the chapter headings, said :
"Look mom - here it says 'Jesus dies' and on the next page it says 'Jesus rose from the dead'. Let's read that!"
So we did. And talked a ton. At the end , after reading Jesus' commission, Eli asked "Do I believe?" ( Remind me to share our 'baptism' conversation some other day. It reveals his dad's sense of humor.)
I asked him if he thought he believed. He wasn't' sure what that meant. He knew that he didn't pray to Michael at school - but only to God. We talked some more about what it means to believe God. I myself was struck by the difference of believing "in" God and "believing" God.
I know this is rambling to most - but they are some of the most profound, eternal moments I think this life may hold for me. It is when I can clearly see what is worthwhile and what is not in all the things I endeavor to do.
Eli is absolutely priceless to me. That's a mom thing to say - but it is a new scary, amazing place in my heart at a deeper level than I've been at before. I feel like I get a glimpse into the man God wants him to be.
I know our enemy will wage war on him. Reading Revelation this week has given me a sober reminder of his ruthlessness. But my heart marvels at the likeness of our God I find in Eli's spirit at times. And I hope and pray and work towards the preservation of that.
Tonight I am also challenged by the feeling of how scary it is to be surrounded by teens who I love .... and I watch some strive with great perserverance for their faith and integrity, and I watch others carelessly embrace compromise as if there were no consequence or eternal meaning in it. It is overwhelming to my heart.
Tonight, with the contrast of my son's genuine, pure questions and heart, I find myself disgusted with the father of lies and the Deceiver. As I feel almost a sense of helplessness, though I know better, I find myself looking forward to the day when our Father defeats him fully and eternally.
I am eager to see the day when he will take no more captives, and purity will remain unmarred and eternal.
And tonight ... in excitement! ... I begin to pray for another little one that will be a part of our family. We found out our niece will be named Elizabeth Mia... what an honor and a blessing to begin to include her in our prayers to Him.