As I’ve mentioned before, Ana has been making some fairly profound observations regarding salvation, grace, and faith as of late. Because she’s only six years old, Wes and I have been handling her questions and her statements with a great deal of caution. Wes himself made a profession of faith at six and has since said that he had to come to a point of greater understanding about what it meant to live for Christ later on in life when he could understand it better. I myself didn’t become a believer until I was fifteen, when understanding what it meant to live for Him was a little easier to understand. Ana is so young that thinking in abstract concepts is still a tricky thing, and when it comes to faith, there are a lot of abstract concepts out there to communicate what it means to live for Jesus.
It has been, in other words, a real stretch for two seminary graduates to explain things on a six year old level. Boy, howdy. There’s been no mention of “Jesus in your heart” or “praying a prayer,” as we’ve been explaining things. We’ve used the “scarier” terms (lol!) like “living your whole life for Jesus” and “trusting Him to save you.” We wanted her to understand grace by God-given and God-initiated faith alone and not entertain some fantasy that she whispered a magical incantation so that Jesus could physically sweep into her heart. We wanted her to understand that it was God’s work and that it meant a life change, for the rest of her life.
Despite our ineloquence and, at times, our very academic language, Ana has been understanding more than we thought. If you’ve never heard a first grader do an inductive explanation of Ephesians 2… well, come over to the Faulk house because it’s been Ana’s flagship passage as of late. (Although, mercifully, we’ve not had to explain cicumcision to her, of the heart or otherwise. Praise God for that.) On Easter Sunday, she kept explaining these things to me, and as I mentally freaked out over what my child actually really understands, she sighed and said, “Mommy, I need to trust Jesus.” When Wes gave the invitation, she said it again, and I asked her to wait, knowing that Papi would have likely had a heart attack had his tiny girl walked up to the front without him knowing what was going on.
So, Ana didn’t go forward. But after the church was empty, she said to Wes, very simply, “Papi, I need to trust Jesus.”
And she wouldn’t talk about anything else for the rest of the day. And as I tucked her in at night, she prayed, “Jesus, tell me if You want me to trust You. Because I’m ready.”
At this point, we’ve had to remind ourselves that Ana’s walk with Christ belongs solely to Jesus and Ana, not to us. And that even if we draw in our breath at the thought of a six year old confessing faith and perhaps not completely understanding it all, what matters most is what God Himself is doing and what He’s already done. And if there is confusion? Well, He’ll work it out, and if we stay out of His way, He just might use us to do that.
So, Wes sat down with her, asked her the questions he normally asks elementary age children who come to him saying they want to trust in Jesus… and she totally understands. She knows what she’s doing. And she told me, “Jesus has been talking to my heart. I feel different.” And I get a sense of holy awe in my own heart as I think of it even now, how as with tears, remembering those days as a teenager when Jesus began talking to my own heart, I told her, “Isn’t that amazing? That He knows just what to say to our hearts?”
After she prayed with us, she announced what had happened by saying, “I’ve trusted in Jesus. I’m going to live for Him now.”
And that’s most definitely good news, no matter how old or young you are.
We’re very excited about our new sister in Christ. And we would love it if you would join us for her baptism on April 28th, 10:30am, at Memorial Baptist Church here in Pasadena.