This past weekend I was able to experience something wonderful. I saw my oldest niece Gracie get baptized. Not only did she get baptized, but it was her grandfather who got the honor to do it. Wendi recorded it with her camera. Here is the link. It is crappy quality, both audio and video, but it gets the point across. Seeing this wonderful occasion made me contemplate my own salvation. Gracie and I have quite a bit in common with our testimonies. We both grew up in the Church, and we were both saved at the age of 5.
How in the world can a 5 year old possibly understand the complete gospel message? To be honest, they can't. Looking back on my own salvation I have questioned it myself before. How in the world did I understand the complexity of the decision that I was making? I don't think it is required to fully understand the complete gospel. As a child I understood that God loved me, and I was separated from Him. I knew that I needed to ask Jesus into my heart.
It is only now that I fully understand what the decision I made 19 years ago really means. It is only now that I am confident that I am HIS.
A big breakthrough in my life came in a little town up north. In fact, WAY UP NORTH!! Langdon, North Dakota This city has a special importance in my life for a few reasons. The first reason is because of a lady named Mary Carr. Mary had a similar testimony as myself. Quite often I would be ashamed of my testimony. It wasn't nearly as interesting as other people's. I wasn't a terrible kid at the age of 5. There wasn't a radical salvation. I didn't have enough opportunities to show my depraved condition. I looked really boring on Sunday nights when it was time for people to share their testimonies. I would always seem to follow the kid in youth group who had smoked pot since they were 2, cussed like a sailor, and was sitting in a prison cell when the Holy Spirit descended on their life, and radically they became a Christian. I would follow that up with a simple:
Hi.... I'm Craig.
I was born, went to Church the next Sunday.
Went to VBS one summer because my parents made me.
Met Jesus when I was 5......
Not nearly as interesting. Mary Carr however said some words that completely flipped my testimony on its head. I kept looking at it as a negative thing that I was saved at such a young age. Mary very clearly proclaimed to me that day that God obviously had very special plans for me, and wanted me in His flock as soon as I understood. This took my boring and dry testimony and gave it a whole new life for me. God chose me at the age of 5 because He loved me so much. He didn't want me to go down that road. He wanted my testimony to be the way that it is. My testimony is in face radical!! Christ took a depraved sinner, and gave him new life. Thank you LORD for your merciful grace!
The second reason why Langdon, ND is a special place to me is because this is where I felt Christ calling me to the ministry. Sitting in a pew that was older then me, Christ knocked on my heart and showed me the path ahead. I ignored this calling for as long as I could. Finally, I answered His calling upon my life.
These are the two reasons I do what I do.
Gracie, I hope one day when you are struggling with the thought of, "How in the world can a 5 year old understand the Gospel?" that someone will share with you the awesome news that Mary Carr shared with me. Way to go kiddo! Uncle Stick is so proud!!