“You know how God made us, Mommy?”
“He just said our name and then we poofed!”
Ethan …. My little theologian.
I could sit here and think of one-liner after on-liner of Ethanisms. He is quite the ham. Like the time he told me he wanted to be a “snowball fighter” when he grows up. That’s my boy.
Second born. Middle son. He keeps us in stitches. And keeps me on my knees. He tries to push every boundary.
I joke that Ethan will be the one to make my hair gray.
There’s a little truth to every joke.
It is difficult to discipline cute kids. Is it not? One sweet flash of that little gap between his two front teeth and I melt. I have to be very intentional with this kid.
Ethan is a lover, but gets embarrassed if doted on too much. He is very different from my warm and fuzzy Grant. Ethan likes to hold people at arms length. That sometimes includes me. And sometimes includes God.
He loves to read Bible stories and will fight Grant to the death to pray at meals, but Ethan has kept God at arms length. It seems as if he gets a little shy.
But the past six months, I sat back and watched as Jesus stirred the pot. I saw Ethan’s attitude towards God start to warm. He asked more and more questions. His understanding of sin was starting to grow. His need for a Savior was beginning to take root.
Four and a half years of seeds were starting to sprout.
So the other night we were in the playroom. Just me and the boys. Brent was in the garage. Ethan looked me square in the eyes and said, “I want to ask Jesus in to my heart.”
“Grant, go get Daddy.”
Now we had gone through this a couple of times. The idea of asking Jesus into his heart would come up, he’d be extremely interested, but then come prayer time he’d decline. “Not today.”
Salvation is a Spirit-led thing. Not Mommy led.
So Brent came upstairs and snuggled Ethan on the couch. “Grant says you want to ask Jesus into your heart?”
“Do you know what that means, Ethan?”
Now this is the part that some would argue that a four-year-old could not possibly understand the Gospel. Well, all I have to say to them is “baloney.” He not only understands it, he believes it.
We talked for a while about sin and our need for a Savior. We talked about forgiveness and God’s great BIG love for him. We talked and prayed. He closed those hazel eyes and locked his little fingers. Grant, Brent and I laid hands on his Thomas the Tank Engine PJ’s and right there, surrounded by Hot Wheels and Lego’s, welcomed Ethan Crenshaw into the Kingdom of God. Hallelujah.
At that time, Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.”
“Jesus is thanking God that spiritual truth was for everyone, and not just for the elite. Many of life’s rewards seems to go to the intelligent, the rich, the good-looking, or the powerful, but the kingdom of God is available to all, regardless of position or abilities [or age]. We come to Jesus not through strength or brains, but through childlike trust.” – Zondervan
Like Christ, our family rejoiced with joy through the Holy Spirit. I mean JOY. Grant and Ethan were hugging and jumping. Now not only earthly brothers, but brother’s in Christ. It was a precious moment. Even Luke, who had no idea what just happened, rejoiced in the excitement. Even he knew it was big.
I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. Luke 15:10
This night, we rejoiced with angels.
Lord, thank you for Ethan. Thank you for entrusting him to us. Thank you for his desire to follow you. I pray you will help us to nurture his growth. To point him towards the Cross. I pray, by the power of your Holy Spirit, that you would grow him and give him understanding. Give him a deepening love and desire for your Word. I pray he would store up your commands within him and turn his ear to wisdom. I pray he would apply his heart to understanding and call out for insight. I pray he would look for you like silver and hidden treasure. I pray you would give him wisdom and from him would come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:2-6) Give us grace to raise him into the Godly man you have created him to be. Help us to bring him in up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4). What a gift, God. What a gift. In Jesus Name…Amen.