Bible story time this evening consisted of Blister the Lamb, a story that combines the parable of the lost sheep and Jesus, explaining that He is the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep. Our daughter Meiying had picked up a small booklet at church last week that talks about sin separating us from God. She's understood for over a year that Jesus died for our sins. When we've talked about why He did that, I've tried to help her understand that Jesus died and rose again, so that we could be with God forever; however, we have to choose to let Him be in charge of our lives. If you know Meiying at all, you know that letting someone else be in charge is NOT something she does willingly.
I think the story of Blister resonates with her quite a bit. In the story the little lamb wants to be in charge of himself and doesn't want a shepherd. He gets his foot stuck and ends up out in the storm alone and unprotected. The Good Shepherd goes looking for Blister. As Blister calls out for help, he finally acknowledges the shepherd as his master. Then the shepherd carries Blister back to the sheepfold cuddled up safely in his cloak next to his heart.
After reading the story and the booklet, which included a short prayer along the lines of "I'm sorry for my sins, thank you for dying for me so that I don't have to be separated from God." I asked Meiying if that was something she wanted to pray. (I asked her this a few weeks ago and she said no.) This evening she said, "Let me think. Think, think, think...... I think, yes." So, after I did a REALLY good job of not falling out of my chair, she prayed. This is the prayer she composed (not one I prompted her to repeat.)
Bedtime prayer, May 20, 2012, by Meiying:
"Dear God, please be in charge of my life. Thank you for being my Good Shepherd and for keeping me safe in your cloak and hooking me when I go too far."
After telling her what a beautiful prayer I thought that was (and trying very hard not to cry), she went out to tell her daddy what she prayed. Before going on with the rest of our bed-time stories, I asked her if I could pray for her. She said yes, that I should pray the prayer she just prayed and that I should thank Jesus for dying on the cross for my sins. I basically repeated what she prayed, but forgot to mention Jesus and the cross. (After I said Amen, she corrected me so I could finish praying everything I was supposed to.)
I'm sure there is a lot she doesn't understand, though I think she understands a lot more than I did at 4 years old. Thank you for your continued prayers as we walk alongside her in this journey she's decided to start. Parenting is a humbling and exciting job!