Sunday, November 25, 2012

Silas and the Gospel

It was one of those days where I felt like my chaotic life was going to get the best of me. Every corner of every room was filled to the hilt with kid randomness. Markers, toys, itty bitty tiny pieces of paper, socks, and who knows what else was scattered around the house. My one, three and four year olds were literally running (and crawling) circles around me. I felt like patting myself on the back to have gotten breakfast served before 11am since it was a circus act hopping over babies and cooking over last nights dishes. It probably looked like a comedy routine to a fly on the wall, but to me, it was just life. Nothing to hoot and holler about, just the chaos that normally consumes me on a regular basis. I just looked around at the mess and instead of feeling charged to clean, I felt the very opposite. I felt so tired on so many levels- and I hadn’t even started! I looked over at the fire in the fireplace and saw it needed to be poked to keep the flames ablaze. Perfect excuse to procrastinate even more, I thought.

I walked over and tended to the fire while my little ones leaped and rolled on the rug behind me. If only I could bottle up a tenth of that energy! I decided to sit right in front of the fire and watch it build up. What is it about kids when parents get on the floor with them? I could see all three of their eyes well up with exhilaration as they climbed and rolled all over me. I knew I couldn’t miss this. I needed to be present with them. It was so hard to stop my mind from whirling and weary thoughts on cleaning, organizing, bills, laundry, meals and schedules~ but I had to, I wanted to. I wanted to just have peace with not a stitch of worry. As I sat down in front of the fire, my four year old, Silas, snuggled up to me while I scratched his back. He had questions about how his daddy and I met, what it was like when I found out the boys were inside my belly and things like that. I told them about the day they were born and how their daddy and I were beside ourselves with excitement and anticipation. How Silas was the biggest baby in the hospital and how his cheeks were so big I couldn’t even see his eyes.  I told my three year old, Cannon, how when he was in my belly he would kick me so hard. I told him how I remembered that the minute he came out, his scream could be heard in the next city over. They asked question after question and ate up all the attention. They gleamed at the thought of being loved so much before they were even born.

Silas snuggled closer and asked me why we named him, ‘Silas’. I told him the story of how one day I was reading my Bible and came across the story of Paul and Silas. I told him that Paul and Silas loved God and couldn’t help but tell other people about Jesus. The judge sent them to jail for being troublemakers, even though they didn’t do anything wrong. His furrowed eyebrows showed the injustice he felt at such a thing. I asked him how he would react if he had to go to jail for no good reason. We talked about feeling sad, mad and complaining about how unfair it would be. When I told him that Paul and Silas did none of those things, he was surprised. I said not only did they not complain, but they prayed and sang songs of praise to God. They worshiped when so many others would have just sat in the corner and cried. I told him that God heard them singing and an earthquake hit and all their chains were loosed and they were free! He was excited that God showed up in such a big way. I told him how much that story meant to me. I said I just loved the fact that even when Paul and Silas were captured and thrown in jail, they loved God so much that they still managed to lift their hands and voices up in praise all night long. I explained how not only did I love that story, but I loved the name ‘Silas’, too. The next question he had bottled up was about heaven. He wanted to know how to get there.

I told him the only way to get to heaven is to believe that when Jesus died, he took all of our sin, all the bad stuff, and put it on himself. Silas chimed in with, “OH! He put all that sin in his heart, inside of him?” I agreed with him and said that not only did He take away all our sin, but He gave us all his love in return. I told him that when Jesus died on the cross he removed all of our sins, forever. He inquisitively answered, “But I still sin, Mom.” He looked perplexed, a little like myself when I think about the same thing. I told him that even though we sin, God only sees Jesus’ love covering all that yucky stuff. He was as quiet as a mouse, just sitting there with his head tilted back, taking it all in. I told him the only thing we can do to get into heaven is to ask God to forgive us and believe what Jesus did for us. I explained that we can’t do anything, we just have to believe. It seemed too simple, even to say that to him. Using the most basic vocabulary reminded me of how simple and amazing the Gospel really is.

He didn’t have anymore questions. I could tell he had a lot to mull over in his little mind. I asked him if he wanted to ask Jesus into his heart. He looked at me, put his hands in the air and said, “Mom, I’m just a kid!” We laughed out loud together and I just gave him a squeeze. I told him if he had anymore questions or if he ever wants to ask Jesus in his heart another time, to just let me know. He ran off to play and I was left staring at the fire again. I was so grateful to share the beautiful Gospel with my son. I felt like the house and my life being so overwhelming was somehow in the plan.  Feeling so beat down led me to get on the floor with my kids and talk about what really matters. Even though the dishes were still piled high and the floor was still in dire need of a good mopping, I felt that peace I desperately needed to keep keeping on. It’s the peace that rushes in when I surrender and let God do His thing, even in the middle of a very chaotic life.

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