I grew up listening to the radio program Unshackled!, “stirring, dramatic accounts of hopelessness and the hope that changes everything.” I foolishly wished for a more interesting testimony. Mine was so boring. I couldn’t even remember life before Christ.
My mom was saved shortly before my sisters and I were born, and she was on fire for the Lord. She taught us diligently, doing devotions with us and little Sunday school lessons throughout the week.
When my sister Rebecca was four and my twin Terry and I were three, Rebecca needed her adenoids removed. Common procedure. No big deal. But while Rebecca was in surgery, Mom realized Rebecca hadn’t yet placed her faith in Christ’s death for her salvation. Some four-year-olds aren’t ready for this, but Rebecca was and Mom knew it.
“What if something happens in surgery?” Mom wondered. “Why didn’t I talk to her about trusting Christ?”
Mom didn’t waste time. Soon after Rebecca’s surgery, she invited Rebecca, Terry, and me to place our faith in Christ and accept His gift of salvation. We were all saved on the same day. My only memory is of feeling shy and hoping Rebecca would pray first.
Being saved as a preschooler was a great blessing, but it wasn’t the kind of testimony that would air on a radio program or excite a crowd at testimony time. However, when I was in college, God gave me a glimpse of the beauty this simple story contained.
My friend’s little brother was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I was scared. I knew they attended church, but attending church doesn’t make a boy a Christian. Had he trusted Christ himself? How could I reach out to them?
I did everything I could, and in the process I realized that the blessing God gave me of a Christian home and early salvation would forever be a burden on my heart, a burden for the souls of children. They can understand. They can believe. I pray I’ll always be faithful in extending the invitation.
Matthew 19:14 (ESV)
But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”