Monday, February 24, 2014

Sarah's First Memory of Faith - Remembering how to have a childlike faith

"Sarah's First Memory of Faith" by: Raising Samuels

 

            Sarah raced to tie her shoes and get her coat on.  It was the winter of 1989 and she had just turned five years old.  She was especially happy this morning because she was headed to her Aunt Ellen and Uncle Greg’s house.  Aunt Ellen and Uncle Greg had the best place for a child growing up in the 1980’s.  They had Nintendo and all the great movies on VHS like Annie, Batman, and The Sound of Music.  They had a ping pong table and they had all the coloring books and awesome card games to play like “Go Fish.”  Aunt Ellen made the best brownies and it just felt like a home away from home at their house. 
            The only problem was they lived three hours away so Sarah didn’t get to see them often but she was ready.  “Dad, it’s starting to snow!  We have to go!” she yelled from the bottom of the stairs.  A few short minutes Sarah, her mom, dad and little brother, Tom loaded into their blue van. 
            They had great fun going to Aunt Ellen and Uncle Greg’s and played games on the way up and sang songs like “Wheels on the Bus” and Sarah was getting really good at noticing landmarks to know when they were getting close.  All of a sudden, her dad stopped singing and that’s when she realized the car had stopped.
            “Daddy, what’s wrong with the car?” asked Sarah.  “Nothing baby, it just stopped. I am going to try and start it again,” Sarah’s dad reassured her.  Her dad tried and tried to start the ignition but the car wouldn’t start.  Sarah looked over and saw the terror on her mother’s face.  In just a few months, Sarah was going to have a baby sister and her mother tried to calm herself while making sure Sarah and Tom were okay.
            It was starting to get cold.  The heater in the van didn’t work very well and now with the car not starting, the cold just seemed to seep into the car faster.  The children looked outside the window and saw they were the only ones on the road.  It was a three lane highway on the path to north Jersey and it was completely covered in white snow and the snow started to come down faster and heavier by the minute.
            There wasn’t a gas station for at least five or ten miles and with the blanket of snow on the ground, it was going to be nearly impossible to walk through.  The unspoken panic of the parents drifted its way into the backseat to the children.  Sarah grabbed Tom’s hand and said, “Tom, pray with me.”
            Tom looked at her as if she were crazy.  The truth is, Sarah and her family didn’t attend church regularly.  Normally, it was for a wedding or a funeral in the family and her parents always tried to get them there on at least Christmas or Easter.  But her parents had taught her how to pray and talk with God.  “Dear God,” Sarah started, “please help us get safely to Aunt Ellen and Uncle Greg’s house.  Please start our car.”
            She leapt onto her father’s lap and said, “Daddy, start the car.”  Sarah’s dad looked sadly down at her and tried to explain to her that the car wouldn’t start.  “Baby, it’s not going to work,” he said.  “Daddy, yes, the car is going to start,” she replied.  After a few seconds, her father went to show her how the car wouldn’t start.  “See Baby,” as he turned the keys, “it’s not going to.”  And there was a pause because not only did the car start, but heat came blasting through at full force and warmed the car up within minutes.  Sarah and her family were able to get to Aunt Ellen and Uncle Greg’s and had a great time!
            This is a true story.  I changed the names around to protect the privacy of my family but this did happen in the winter of 1989 on a trip to my aunt and uncle’s house.  This was before cell phones and roadside service.  I can only imagine what would have happened to my father, my mother pregnant with my little sister, brother and me. 
            I know that my parents did the best they could while raising us.  I have always been a believer in God but I was never taught scripture or how it related to real life.  During one of my devotionals this week, I read Hebrews 11:6: “And without faith it is impossible to please God…”.  I think back to the look of terror on my mother’s face and know now as a mom how my children can read me just like I read her.  As that child, I knew nothing of the dangers in the world.  All I knew was if I prayed to God, he was going to start our car.  There was not a doubt in my mind about it.
            Many of us are running around busy today and were forgetting to not only be thankful but Who to be thankful to.  Some people don’t know how to reach out and ask God for help.  They want to take it on their own and have it done their way.  They don’t understand why they keep running into brick walls.  For people who are believers, go back to that child in you and show that faithfulness to God that only a child could have.  He is still that same God as the One you knew when you were little.  He hasn’t changed.  And maybe you haven’t changed either but the world has.  Show the world how powerful our God is!  How can we do this though if we have no faith?  We can’t reach out and pray to Him with no faith in our hearts and expect Him to hear us.
             Things have changed quite a bit since the 1980’s.  We have lots of technology to make our lives easier but we seem to be busier than ever.  The good news is I get my devotionals delivered right to my inbox!  This verse stirred up this memory in me this week and I had to share it.  Do you know someone hurting or in need of the Master’s hand?  Go sit down and be that child in you and let them hear it.

Blessings to all of you and please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss this or tell me about your own memory where something like this happened to you.

*The picture is of me and my Grandma and in the back you can see the blue van from the story.

*The devotional where I obtained the scripture is from Institute for Creation Research and the article was called, “How to Please the Lord" from February 20, 2014.  (http://www.icr.org/article/7819/)

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