It’s Not…The End of the Story

Sometimes when I’m reading a good book, I flip to the back and read the end before all the middle parts. 

Sometimes…I just have to know.
My Jeffrey must feel this way sometimes too. He must have wanted to know how it all ended last night, in fact.
When I checked on my boy after my shower, he was in bed reading his Bible. I slipped on by, whispering a prayer for the word to light a flame. The house was quiet and I was looking forward to catching up with some of my bloggy friends. I went downstairs and fired up my laptop. I stopped by to see Billy and was heading over to Maureen’s when he came down the stairs. I glanced up from my screen as he quietly sat down beside me.
What’s wrong? I asked, still looking at the screen. Why are you out of bed?
Mom? He asked. Is God perfect?
One look at his face and I knew this wasn’t going to be a short conversation. I closed the computer and looked at my son.
Why, yes, He is. He’s the only one who is.
He nodded and looked down and for the first time I realized he was fighting tears.
Why do you ask?
Well, he said, I was reading the book of Revelation (Uh-Oh) and it says that there will be a new heaven and a new earth.
Yes.
And it says that God will dwell with men and the new Jerusalem will come down from heaven.
Yes.
But it says we have to be pure to get in—that liars and murders and thieves won’t be allowed in the gate.
I nodded, waiting. His lip began to quiver.
But…sometimes I lie.
At these words, he broke down a little and leaned into my shoulder to hide his face.
Oh, honey, I put my arms around him. Oh, honey, we all make mistakes.
We’re not pure, he said, tears streaming.
Oh, honey, Someone died to make us pure. Jesus took our punishment. When we gave our lives to him, he washed us clean. As long as you are following Jesus and trying to live like him, you’re okay.
He looked up with big eyes, not sure.
Revelation is kind of scary.
Well, I struggled for the right thing to say. Maybe it’s not the best place to start. It’s a hard book to understand. A lot of scholars disagree about what some of it means. Maybe you should read that one when you are a little older. And with a teacher or something.
He started to cry again and asked me about the signs of the end of the world. How will we know, he wanted to know, how will we know when it’s the end?
We talked about knowing what the Bible says, about the signs and the antichrist and even talked about Hitler. We looked him up on Wikipedia.
But none of that made him feel better. He kept squeezing in to me the more we talked.
There’s something I want to show you, I said, getting my Bible. I turned to Romans 10.
…if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
You belong to Jesus, I said. As long as you follow him you will be ok.  He knows your heart.
We talked about the thief who was crucified beside Jesus—the one who told Jesus to remember him when he came into his kingdom.
He must have done bad things, I said, to be crucified. But you know what Jesus told him?
Jeffrey nodded.
You will be with me in paradise.
Because he believed that Jesus is Lord, he was saved.
Jeffrey’s eyes brightened and he knew it was past bedtime.
Do you want to snuggle?
Upstairs, I spooned into him and I could tell how tears had tendered his heart.
I love you, mommy, he kept telling me.
And then he sighed heavily and I knew he was about to give in to sleep.
God sure is powerful, he whispered to the wall. It sure would be easy to be scared of him.
But you know what else God is?
I breathed in his ear: God is love.
He nodded.
That’s one reason in infinity to love him.
The Bible says He loved us so much, he gave his one and only son for us.
He nodded again.
God does more for us than he should—more than we deserve.
That’s called grace, honey. That’s grace.
But he was quiet.
**Bonnie asks me How is God calling you to be more confident, care-free–to trust–or be bold?

One way, Bonnie, is through my children. Just when my trust is hanging by a thin thread—just when I begin to question again…he sends these divine appointments. To watch His word penetrate the heart of an 11 year old boy…to know that hey, I could seriously mess this up…and then watch as He gives the words. It is amazing. It sets me on fire for Him. Over and over again. And that’s pretty cool. Or should I say…hot?

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**This is also written for Emily’s Imperfect Prose. God knows. God knows just how imperfect my words are. 

Comments

  1. says

    What a beautiful, tender story – and what a beautiful, tender heart your son has. The story reminds me that being bold and being confident is sometimes just a matter of speaking truth quietly.

  2. says

    I love this story of teaching your children the word. Isnt it amazing that people pick verses out of the bible like the quote of the day and they just dont realize the full story.

    Great and tender teacher you are

  3. says

    Inspiring to keep telling others…if you teach it you learn it all over again. I’m so VERY thankful for grace. Often it is hard to grasp God’s grace and mercy because often my humanity confines those words to boxes too small. Oh to grasp that Love…so we must keep abiding.

  4. says

    “and then watch as He gives the words.” Thank you for letting us watch as He gave you the perfect words for your man child…

    “you will be saved”…period…amen…the thief on the cross…knowing JESUS is LORD and we are not…it is finished.

  5. says

    No way, you don’t REALLY read the end of the book first do you? Awww… shame! *giggles* I have a friend who does that… and I’m thinking, “why even read it then, when you now know what’s going to happen?”

    What a sweet time with your son.. and a wonderful lesson learned… HUGS

  6. says

    What a precious, tender heart!
    Thank You, Lord!

    And Thank You, Lord for those inspired answers you whisper to a mama heart so she can be Your Conduit of Love and Faith to these eternal beings entrusted to our care.

    You will treasure these moments up in your heart, as the seeds are planted, watching for the abundant harvest of Fruit in his spirit. Glorious!!

  7. says

    What a sweet conversation! That part in Revelation always worried me a little, at least, until I came to know Christ better and more fully. Thanks for sharing such a deep moment!

  8. says

    What a gift God has given you, this opportunity to confess with your mouth those things you believe, to offer them up to your dear son and trust God to do His work through them. I remember a similar conversation with my son when he told me he was afraid of his judgment day. What holy ground we are called to tread with these little souls. And yes, Revelation is scary–the church I grew up in used to scare the living daylights out of me with those wish-we’d-all-been-ready rapture movies. Took me forever, it seemed, to embrace a God of grace. Keep preaching/showing that grace, Laura. It matters.

  9. says

    Dear Laura, you and I think the same way.

    “I could totally mess this up.”

    I have never been so humbled as I am now as a mother. Our sons are tender, sensitive ones, aren’t they? No word studies help here, except that hug, that wisdom in the moment.

    Bedtime is sometimes my hour of testing! 🙂 LOL. No, seriously!

    What gem of a post to jump into the jam with. SSSOO glad it’s here to on the table for us to drink.

  10. says

    oh such a beautiful story of a tenderhearted boy and the convicting, powerful and yet soothing Word. i love those conversations where i pray like crazy and see the Holy Spirit step in and lead my kids to Him.

  11. says

    i so love these stories about your boys!! makes this mama smile 🙂

    Also, I wanted to let you know…my study will not be available through amazon or any other book distributor for a few months (until its release in March). If you want to order sooner check out my “order book” tab on my blog. Psst…I will have a giveaway later this week, too! 🙂

  12. says

    Laura…this is priceless…my son, only three, oh, what a conversation like this would be? I can imagine it much the same…tender hearts!

    I love how you just shared your conversation and that is the beauty.

    I am so glad that I started to get your posts by e-mail otherwise I might have missed it! Thank you!

  13. says

    oh laura… this is so, so, so tender. i have tears too. i long for the day when i can share such truths with my son. how well you did it. how well you closed the computer and listened and snuggled. good on you, mama-friend. xo

  14. says

    What a touching story. I am sitting here in tears just thinking of the miracle and beauty in that conversation. That was surely one of those moments that he will never forget and he’ll remember the love and honesty and strength he saw in his mother as he worked through some difficult stuff! I have a 3 year old and I hope and pray each day that we can have those same conversations as he grown. God is so GOOD!

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