Thursday, July 6, 2017

Eden's Baptism

First Published on November 29, 2014

Recently, John baptized a seven-year-old girl, which was unusual for us, because we usually see adults or older children baptized. Sometimes kids want to do what their parents are doing but, after some discussion, we find out that little ones don’t grasp the meaning of baptism, so we wait. Eventually, the kids grow into an understanding of what their parents have done, and through study with mom and dad, they make that decision on their own. That seems to be the typical rythm of the process, anyway. Last month, however, a little girl named Eden reminded us that there is nothing typical about God’s ways.

Here’s Eden (in the middle), holding her baby brother, with her mom and younger sister: 

Her parents were baptized in September and are the ones allowing us to stay in their travel trailer until we get the legal battle with my brother resolved. Needless to say, you can get pretty close to someone when you share a back yard. That’s why we were so alarmed to hear that Eden was obsessing over disturbing thoughts and images that were robbing her of her innocence. When she shared some of them with me, I immediately thought she must have been exposed to something very inappropriate, but then she told me about a scenario playing over and over in her head, which involved my mother, whom she described to me in detail. (Eden has never met my mother nor seen a picture of her.) Baffled, we prayed with her parents that God would help her. It was greatly affecting their whole family.

Eden said she was asking God to take away her bad thoughts, but she was sure she needed to be baptized. We weren’t so sure, but after much discussion, she politely insisted that it was necessary. (I must add that Eden is a precocious little girl, who usually knows the answers to the questions asked in Bible class. She’s also memorized large chunks of Scripture and seems to be gifted with spiritual wisdom well beyond her years.) Her parents were impressed by her conviction and asked John to baptize her right away. We used a birthing tub the family has used for the home births of their children. John and I found that ironically appropriate. 

Since her baptism, Eden’s disturbing thoughts have ceased and she has returned to being her normal carefree self—a smart and thoughtful little girl. The immediate change in her demeanor is remarkable, and I have found cause to ask God to give me a deeper understanding of spiritual warfare and the accountability of children to His Word. 

Acts 16:                                                                                              
32And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house. 33And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. 34And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household.

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