An experience of faith
When I was five years old, something happened that was very important for the rest of my Christian life. I remember it very well. I was a very sensitive and worried little girl. The thought of starting school scared me very much, and I cried just thinking that I would soon have to start school.
The first day of school came and my mother had to leave me with the teacher. When she went away, I panicked and began to cry so much that my mother had to come back. She took me aside and asked if I wanted to pray to not be scared. She said, “Clara, when you have prayed, then you don’t need to think about the things you are scared of at all, because we will tell everything to Jesus, and He will help you. You will see that everything will go well!”
In my young heart, I believed all my mother’s words, because we always prayed for everything at home. There were lots of people around, but I knelt down and prayed with all my heart, “Jesus, help me not to be afraid anymore!” My mother said to me, “Now you have said it to Jesus, now you can go!” I went back to the teacher with new courage, and I said silently over and over to myself, “I told Jesus.”
I had peace and rest in my heart for the rest of the year, because I had told everything to Jesus and I reminded myself of that the whole time. I was no longer afraid; I felt strong. I knew He was with me. This experience was a foundation for my Christian life to this day. Jesus is my best friend. I can give everything over to Him, with a simple faith, and He takes care of me!
Holding on to a childlike faith when grown up
"Then He called a child to Him and had him stand among them. “I assure you,” He said, "unless you are converted and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:2-3 (CSB).
I have been through many different trials in my life, with my family, health, money, etc. - many things that have made my faith in God stronger. Sometimes I’ve been tempted to worry again. When we get older we want to understand everything but the experience from my childhood has often come back to me. “Keep your heart simple as a child.” This simple childlike faith - to believe in God’s Word just as it’s written - has been my help.
God takes care of me by giving me a deep rest and peace when I, in childlike faith, throw all my cares on Him! (1 Peter 5:7.) Every time I have believed and obeyed God’s Word without trying to reason everything out - the same way I did when I was five - God has given me peace. God has helped me my whole life, just as it is written in Psalm 23.
Prayers that are well-pleasing to God
Over the past few years, especially since I became a mother, I’ve understood that if I want to live a real Christian life that is well-pleasing to God - a life where I become more and more happy and full of peace and strength no matter what comes my way - then the most important thing is the way I react to things. Even the smallest things. How I react when my children and husband see me in normal life each day, but also in my thoughts where only the Lord sees me. Am I the same person wherever I go? Do I do what God tells me to do in His Word? Can my children say that I am just as gentle, happy and patient towards them at home as in front of other people?
I have seen how God answers prayers that come from a pure heart; prayers that are well-pleasing to Him. (1 John 5:14-15.) When my whole desire in my different trials is to get more of His nature, His patience, His power, His rest, His Spirit, His love, His wisdom, the willingness to do good, more courage, peace, etc., I know that my prayers are well-pleasing to Him.
On my own I can’t love as God wants us to, and it’s written in God’s Word that we are to share in godly nature, getting more of the same love that Christ had for us. (2 Peter 1:4.) That’s why I don’t pray that my situations must change or go away, but I pray to get more of Christ’s love for the others! I know that when I pray like this, these prayers are well-pleasing to God because it’s not my own will that I want to do, but His will.
I don’t pray to have everything nice for myself, but to get more of His life, more of the fruits of the Spirit, and that is why I am certain that I will get what I ask for. I can ask Him anything, believing that He hears me - and carry on in my daily life and know that He is beside me and will help me, whatever comes my way. He takes care of all things, even when I am asleep!
After I have prayed, I can learn to be patient and tell myself, “I told Jesus” until I get this rest, and then the results come! I have learned to put the first thoughts of worry, things I don’t understand, etc. aside, and I have seen how God, in His time, answers and gives what I need. Several times, I have experienced miracles!
What happened when I prayed that simple prayer when I was small, made my faith stronger. But I have seen how God wants to do even more in me and through me - He wants to change me, so that I can be more like Him! And I have His promise that He will change me, and great joy because I have a pure conscience. God is always at my side! He gives me more power to act, more of His Holy Spirit, and more revelation in His Word.
This is the most interesting life a person can have here on this earth!