Moments like the one pictured above are too priceless for words…too hard to explain….to special to articulate meaningfully…but I’ll try.
That’s my pastor and me, preparing to baptize my oldest daughter at our church’s recent baptism service (we do it at the pool, y’all…it’s how we roll!). I had the distinct privilege of getting to baptize her myself, just as I did her little sister a few years ago.
Ruthie came to me a few weeks ago and brought up the subject of getting baptized. We chatted for a little bit over breakfast (cause a little bit is all you get with her 9-going-on-19 self), and I told her to pray about it and talk to me some more. The weeks went by, and nothing else was said. I assumed she changed her mind.
Then Friday night, as we were about to go see Rend Collective (amazing, btw) with our girls, my wife and I were talking over the logistics of the upcoming weekend and I mentioned the baptism. My daughter perked up and said “that’s THIS weekend????” She thought she had more time! She told me she definitely wanted to get baptized.
So we talked about what baptism is and what it isn’t. We talked about how it’s not some magical thing that happens when you go under the water and come up, but how it’s a picture of your old self dying to sin and then rising to new life in Christ. We talked about how it’s an outward sign of what Jesus has already done in your heart when you asked Him to be your Lord and Savior. She said she wanted to do it to start fresh, to be the person God is calling her to be.
I could go into a lot of backstory here, but I won’t. Suffice it to say it’s pretty cool to get to share moments like this with your kids, I must say. Pretty amazing indeed. These conversations were definite answers to pray, I’ll say that. So parents, keep on praying for you kids.
Fast forward to the moment pictured above…we’re in the water, and I get to pray over this little girl and her decision to make this public profession to follow Christ. I thanked God for saving her, for calling her to Him. I thanked Him for giving me the privilege of being there with her. I prayed for Him to bless her life, to guide her steps, to fill her with His Spirit and to use her for His glory.
I prayed that she would be a life lived fully for the glory of the Lord.
Then I got to perform the age-old ordinance of baptism on my Ruthie…this picture Christ gave us of our dying to ourselves and rising to new life in Him.
And just like at her dedication as a little child, I once again, in my own heart, reaffirmed that his precious girl isn’t mine at all. She’s His. Fully and totally. He made her, formed her, gave her to me and her mom, to raise to know Him and love Him. To follow Him, all her days.
Just as I seek to follow Him all my days.
So we all continue down that path…following after the Master. Me, her mom, her sister, and Ruthie. I can’t help but think of the old hymn:
I have decided to follow Jesus…I have decided to follow Jesus…I have decided to follow Jesus…No turning back…No turning back…