I’m Sorry God

It was a busy Friday, but it wasn’t anything really out of the ordinary. We had finished our running about during the day and were in the middle of dinner. As usual, I kept a sharp eye on the food-throwing Abby to my right and still tried to enjoy my wife’s incredible cooking. Anna was picking through her food, but Ella was outright refusing. Again, this was not unusual. I can’t remember all the details of the scene, but I do remember the flaring temper from Ella and her subsequent dismissal from the table. She immediately began crying and ran to her room. Again, this was not unusual.

Then I heard something that was out of the ordinary. Ella usually tried to apologize from her bed by yelling down the hall to Mommy or Daddy, but that night she did not. Instead, I heard Ella crying out, “I’m sorry, God. I’m sorry, God!” I looked at Cara. “Is she saying what I think she’s saying?” Cara nodded in the affirmative, and I wiped off Abby’s recently-flung meal and headed down the hallway.

My girls love stories about God, and we had been talking more about the need for forgiveness and why we are punished. At only 3 ½, my little Ella seemed to really be getting the picture. I asked her why she was saying she was sorry to God, and she explained that is was because she had done wrong. She seemed to just know that she was doing wrong against her Heavenly Father. We talked through the situation again, and she came back to finish her meal, but it was the beginning of something.

The next day, Ella and I had the opportunity to spend a little time one-on-one. We took a walk through the woods in our neighborhood, and I told a story as we walked through the beautiful colors of autumn. It wasn’t a new story, but Ella was intrigued anyway. I told of how Jesus lived perfectly, and how He died terribly because of His great love for us. We talked about the fact that Jesus died so Ella wouldn’t have to. We talked about the terrible place in Hell for those who don’t believe and the wonderful place of Heaven for those who believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins.

Ella asked questions and restated the story back to me as we walked, but I didn’t want to push her decision. I changed the subject, and we continued throughout our day. But Ella wanted to bring the subject back up at bedtime. She knew that she needed to pray and ask God to forgive her of her sins. With that in mind, she said, “I’m ready now, Daddy.” On Saturday, November 7, my little girl experienced the thrill of salvation. When Mommy and Anna came home, she told about what she did and did a little dance. We called Grandma and Poppy, the story was told, and she danced. We called Mimi, the story was told, and she danced. Oh, how she danced!

As a parent, it’s difficult to know if the stories are making sense. From a mom and dad’s perspective, punishment seems to be only a necessary evil. I view it all differently now. You may not know the effects, but you must tell the stories. You may hate disciplining your children, but you must lovingly discipline them. For from the stories and from the discipline bring a fuller understanding of right and wrong, and your child will begin to know the difference. Salvation begins with an understanding of our sin. It all begins with, “I’m sorry God.”

5 Responses to “I’m Sorry God”
  1. Heather (Klink) West says:

    Truly a blessing to read. That’s so great to hear that at such a young age, she was ready and knew she was ready.
    I’m excited for the day when I hear those same words!

  2. Jennifer Reider says:

    thanks for sharing, andy. we have never met. i am matt reider’s wife. this is a great encouragement from christian parent to another. we have 1 son, 9 months old and need this encouragement… to see the bigger picture. it’s so hard to loose the focus of eternity when getting involved in the discipline and everyday tasks.

  3. Thanks for sharing this Andrew. Well written and such an encouragement to me. Keep being a great husband, father and pastor!

Check out what others are saying...
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