The other night after dinner my oldest said "Hey Mom, look!" and I turned around expecting to find a new Lego creation. Instead I was treated to a mouth full of blood with a little white tooth hanging on by one last thread. Normally I wouldn't be grossed out much, but the surprise kinda freaked me out and I shooed him off to the bathroom to take care of it himself.
He's such an old pro at it now (second tooth) that he just pulled it out himself and then forgot entirely to put it under his pillow so the tooth fairy had to leave him a note asking where it was!
Now after last week's post about Truth and Grace I had the opportunity to share with someone (on FB) who wondered how you could know that you were saved. He was wondering where the proof of your salvation was if there was no evidence in your life. Something that I've thought about back and forth for years. I'm not sure I can re-write it any better so here's that comment:
See, I truly believe that to be saved all you have to do is believe. (that Jesus died for us) If we think we can do ANYTHING to help our salvation then we are deluding ourselves. We all know ourselves well enough to know that we can't do anything good enough for that. I think the Bible is pretty clear on this, especially with examples like the thief on the cross who had no chance to prove anything.
However, when it comes to years and years of life as a Christian and you are looking for some evidence of your salvation that is a different thing. I do think it's possible for people who claim to be Christians to not be, but like Brian said (previous comment on FB), God looks at the heart and it's not our place to determine whether they are saved or not.
I am somewhat of a perfectionist and also not great at self-analyzation. I feel like I've struggled for literally years to see any change in my spiritual life. This is a point of great discouragement when I don't see the things changing in me that I want to.
However recently (quite recently actually) I met with some friends for prayer. With no prior knowledge of my struggle one of my friends told me that God told her to tell me this: God is outside of time so it's much easier for Him to see the change and that I am changing. I was blown away simply because there was no way she could have known that without God revealing it to her.
I know I'm too hard on myself, but that can be a hard habit to break, especially for a perfectionist. Here's part of what I wrote on my blog on Friday that I think is also relevant here... (self referencing here, but important for context)
I want the grace in my life and I know that Jesus offers it, but I think what I've been missing to feel truly free is the truth. I need to turn around and look into the light of truth, accept it, make the hard decisions that lead to changes, and then also _accept the grace_ that is given while I am on the path to change.
With emphasis on that last line.So I've been pondering that for a few days and then this morning in church we started a new series on the Holy Spirit (nicely dove-tailing with my Beth Moore Bible study) and to be honest, I had a really hard time concentrating. But right at the beginning something Pastor Josh said hit me and I thought, "What if the change that the Holy Spirit wants to work in us is not the change we want?"
Honestly the very fact that you care enough to ask these questions is also good proof that God is working in your life. Just because you can't see the "radical transformation" that you see in some other people does not mean you are not in the process of being transformed. Can you think of anyone who you know to be a Christian who does not have a very exciting testimony? Perhaps they didn't give up some major sin or other horrible habit. We all have our own issues and just because your transformation doesn't look like mine or anyone else's doesn't mean it isn't happening. I'm not sure I'm explaining myself well, I hope you understand. (I ended by saying apparently I am quite verbose - and even on FB it looked shorter than here!)
Talk about a lightning bolt. All the things I want to change in myself probably do need changing. But what if they aren't the most important thing? And by focusing on them I'm missing the real change that God wants to make happen and is already happening? How freeing would that be from the merry-go-round of "I want to change, I can't change, why not?" Maybe because this isn't the change that's supposed to happen right now, if ever.
And then the best part of my day...
My husband plays Magic and invited a bunch of his friends over tonight since there's no school tomorrow. So I got bedtime duty with the boys which I rarely do anymore. Usually he puts the boys to bed while I put the girls down, but tonight the boys just waited up for me since he was busy. We always sing songs at bedtime and so I sang Majesty. As I finished Noah asked me, "Jesus died?" So I proceeded to explain to them as simply as I could why Jesus died, but that he's not dead anymore.
Then the most amazing thing happened. Cory said, "Why don't we pray about that right now. You pray and I'll repeat after you." And so we did. And then Noah wanted to pray and Cory wanted him to repeat after me. He wanted to make a cross of his own normal prayer and mine so it became a bit complicated, but we muddled through. I'm really not sure where Cory got the idea that he had to repeat after me, we've never said anything about that and he's not usually one to pray out loud at bed time anyway. But that's okay with me!
I have two little Jesus boys in my house tonight!