With tears in his eyes, at only six years old, he told us: “This is the best day of my life.” One day, I hope he knows it was one of the best days of our lives too.
Russell, our second-born, made a profession of faith on Super Bowl Sunday (02/03/2019). It all began as a normal Sunday. I’m not that into football or the Super Bowl, but it was a great day at church, and we had plans to stay home and rest as a family. Like many Americans, we had pizza and Courtney made some dip for us to enjoy.
I turned on the game, not expecting to watch it. However, the game actually kept my attention. The score and teams always seemed evenly matched against one another. It came down to the last 2+ minutes of the game, and I wasn’t sure who was going to win.
Out of nowhere, Russell sat on the couch and said he wanted to ask Jesus to forgive him and that he wanted to be a Christian.
“What?! Now? Is this happening!?”
Before I could respond, he ran to his room. Now, I know I will be judged by some. But the truth is the truth; for a moment I thought, “Surely I can talk with him after these 2 minutes are up.” But of course, the Holy Spirit gave me that “really?” feeling, so I came to my right mind and followed him to the room.
He jumped on the bed and immediately began praying. It was as genuine a prayer as you could imagine. He asked God to save him from his sins, confessing that he believed Jesus died on the cross for him. It all happened in what felt like a brief second. He said “Amen,” and I just knelt in shock and wonder.
You see, Russell had the knowledge that Jesus died on the cross for him, and he had said prayers before acknowledging this, but we had yet to see a heart change or any fruit in his life. I had been praying for months that God would give Russell a pure heart; that Russell would walk after God and follow Him all the days of his life. I had faith, but I suspected it would take decades for any assurance. God answered that prayer much sooner than I expected.
After we went back in the living room, Russell hugged his mama and sat on the couch. I just stared at her in disbelief. Seeing the tears in my eyes, she knew it was real.
As we silently celebrated together, Russell shocked us both again. Within a minute or two of sitting back on the couch, he started crying real tears and said, “This is the best day of my life!” As he wiped away his own tears, we began releasing ours. This was a true moment of sincere humility and repentance.
I never did see the end of the game. I don’t remember who won. But that evening was a night I’ll never forget.
I don’t know what you’re praying for. I don’t know the odds stacked against you or your hopes. But I do know one thing: God is able. He is able to answer those impossible prayers. He is able to change a heart. He is able to move a mountain. Trusting in Him is always worth it. You never know exactly what He’s going to do, but you can always trust Him. I’m glad we did. And I’m eternally grateful that Russell did.
I love you guys and hope to see you this Sunday! We’ll be looking at James 2:14-26. That passage has a special place in my heart, and I can’t wait to share it with you.