I remember the night my oldest grandchild trusted Christ as Savior.
A Sunday evening. Halloween. Mission’s conference at church.
One of the components of our mission conferences was the kid sessions. The missionaries who spoke to the adults were asked to take their turn sharing their ministry with the kids. I usually helped with the kids.
That Sunday evening, the four-year-old munchkin gleefully went to the kids’ area with me and we sat in the first row as the speaker, a representative from Gideons International, began talking. The man wasn’t that entertaining – Gideon reps are businessmen and women who volunteer to hand out Bibles to places such as prisons, schools and hotel/motels and are not necessarily seasoned speakers.
But the munchkin listened. The man finished his presentation talking about some of the experiences he has had giving away Bibles at schools. Then said he had a New Testament for each of the kids present that night.
The munchkin’s eyes lit up, “Really, Grandma? I’m gonna get a Bible?”
“Yes,” I whispered.
She bounced up and down in her seat until the Bible was in her hands. With awe, she skimmed through the pages.
“When you get home tonight,” I whispered, “you’ll have to ask your dad or mom to read a chapter to you.”
“Oh, I will,” she promised.
I emphasized several times she needed to talk to her parents. I wanted to capture her excitement. Otherwise, I knew the Bible could get lost under the car seat on the trip home or even forgotten at church. Four-year-olds can lose interest in things quickly.
But she remembered. That night her dad read a chapter of the New Testament to her and as a result, she trusted Christ as Savior.
And when our family thinks about it, we smile. Because this is a child who has three preachers in the family and another seven or eight relatives in full-time Christian ministry. Bibles? Her family has at least 20 of them, including a brightly-colored children’s Bible someone had given her a year or so before.
But God used a Gideon rep and a plain New Testament to be the catalyst for her salvation decision.
With children – whether those we teach, those we parent or those we grandparent, we need to be alert to opportunities. Because this munchkin had attended church since the week she was born, lived in a house with scores of Bibles, and had heard her parents and grandparents talk about the Lord directly to her (or in her hearing range) countless times… we could’ve easily overlooked her excitement.
The thing is – we don’t know when something clicks in a child’s brain. We don’t know when everything they’ve been hearing will suddenly make sense to them. We don’t know when they’re ready to make that serious, life-changing decision.
That moment could be any time.
That moment could be the result of a Gideon Bible given to her on Halloween night.
Linda is the author of thirteen books, and several hundred short stories and articles. For the past twenty-three years she has worked at Awana as a writer. She is the mom of two grown kids and six keeping-life-interesting grandkids.