This last Sunday was an interesting day. My mom had been visiting this past weekend and of course, we went to church. The message was a good one, and part of it talked about obedience to God. The subject then turned to baptism.
Now, I know that baptism doesn’t save you. Baptism is an outward profession of your faith in Christ. The few times baptism has been addressed in church, I hadn’t given it much thought. I knew I had my faith, God knew I loved Him, did I really need baptism?
Sunday, it wasn’t a question of is baptism necessary, it was a question of how obedient to God am I going to be?
I had been baptized when I was too young to understand what it actually meant. Not anymore. On Sunday, my mom and I both were baptized. It may sound strange that I chose to do it now, but it was quite the feeling. Our pastor kept saying something like this, “If you believe in Christ, and you confess your sins, what is stopping you from getting baptized?” Absolutely nothing. Talk about being convicted. I guess I had never gotten baptized before because I felt like I had missed my opportunity, you know? I had already been a Christian for all these years, and isn’t baptism something you do after you first profess Christ as Lord? No, I guess not! And, deep down, I knew that, but I always found excuses to not go through with it every time baptism was mentioned.
So, that all changed on Sunday. It was actually quite spontaneous, but in all truth, it was a decision backed up by years of belief, trials, and prayer.
One of the counselors asked me why I wanted to be baptized. Truthfully, after all the anger, despair, and lack of faith that has been accompanying me in recent months, it felt good to renew my faith, in public. I told her I’d recently been diagnosed with MS; I couldn’t stop the sudden tears that fell down my cheeks. I was slightly annoyed that I still couldn’t talk about it without crying to some degree. God has been with me through everything in my life. He knows what I feel. He has handled my anger and I have finally been turning where I need to in recent weeks.
It was an awesome experience, being baptized. It felt good to re-profess my faith after I had been running from it for a few months. It was funny, though. You know how when you get baptized, you bend your arm at your elbow and pinch your nose to avoid breathing in water when you’re dunked? Well, my experience was no different, except the swimmer in me threatened to surface. As soon as I was dunked, despite me pinching my nose, I found I wanted to blow bubbles out my nose, as is habit with swimmers going underwater. It actually took conscious effort for me to be still. Anyway…the baptism is obviously a moment that needed to be shared on my blog because it has much significance in my life. It was a very cool experience.
I mean, this opportunity presented itself on a weekend where my mom happened to be in town, when I always had a question about whether or not I should be baptized (if the topic was broached), and when I finally feel like I’m back on my feet. God has a way of bringing things like that together, and presenting an opportunity. If you haven’t been baptized, and you have been a Christian for some time, don’t feel like your opportunity has passed. It hasn’t yet, just seize the opportunity!
“After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.”
1 Peter 3:19-22
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