Swimming in the Spirit
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.
I’ll start out by saying that my son is really scared of going under water. He loves ‘swimming’, loves playing in the pool, but only as far as he can touch the bottom, and as long as his head doesn’t have to go under. In the practice of our faith, baptism is simply a means of showing our faith in Christ, usually fairly quickly after that profession. But in Connor’s case, it’s taken two years. But it’s been two years of growth, so the baptism actually meant something to him. On Easter Sunday, when the announcement was made about the next outdoor baptism, Connor looked at me and said, “It’s time, Mom.” My heart rejoiced.
Once Connor was ready, we met up with our Minister of Education to walk through the process so that Connor would feel comfortable with what was going to happen that day. Pastor Jeff was great with him – excited and comforting, sharing his own story of dealing with fear as a child. The thing that made it so very special is that Jeff offered to get into the baptismal with Connor and practice…while still in his church/work clothes. And they did! Then Jeff shared some scripture with Connor about being unafraid in the Lord to give him some comfort. Connor spent the rest of the weekend so excited about what he was going to do, and was so happy that not only had he finished what Jesus had commanded, but he had been led to conquer a fear.
My family has always put a huge emphasis on baptism. It was the culmination of the process – the completion of Jesus’ command to believe and be baptized. My Grandfather was a church planter..and back in the day, a bathtub in the sanctuary wasn’t always available,and he would baptize people in the river. When my Grandfather baptized me, it was in the church baptismal, in the church he was going to retire from a few years later. Unfortunately, he is no longer with us, but the outdoor baptism for Connor brought a little of his spirit back to the day. And to top it off, we baptized 27 people! Definitely like a river baptism! There were a couple of families baptized, lots of sibling groups, older gentlemen, younger adults, and a bunch of children. I’m sure Heaven was rejoicing!!
Prayerfully, through this experience, he’ll be ready to tackle that pool, and to let go of some of his fear, in Jesus’ name.