As many of you know and witnessed last Sunday, we saw a believer make the most important decision of her life by putting Christ on in baptism. Sophie Tyson, an 8th grader and daughter of Ben and Kelly Tyson, was cut to the heart by the good news of Jesus Christ and followed his word and his example into the waters of baptism.
Before she was baptized, Sophie shared with us a portion of her thought process leading up to this important decision in the form of a confession. For those of you who were social distancing, or unable to attend, I want to share her confession with you because I believe it carries a lesson, and a powerful message for believers.
“I think most of the time, when people want to be baptized, they say, ‘I’m ready.’ But I don’t think baptism is the ‘I’m ready’ point in life. It’s the ‘I’m not ready’ point. When we realize how not ready we are, that’s when we realize how much we truly need Jesus. I know I’ve messed up, a lot, and I’m not ready to face the consequences I definitely deserve. And even once God takes those sins and consequences away, I’m not ready to face whatever else it is that life throws at me. So, what we should all be saying is, ‘I’m not ready, God, and I need you to take control.’
“I’ve been thinking about baptism for over a year now, and I’ve always come to the same conclusion: I’m not ready. But I think God put that in my heart because it was the truth, and I just couldn’t see it then. Now I know that is the truth, and that’s why I can say I believe because I’m not ready to go on without Him.” – Sophie Tyson
“I’m not ready to go on without him” and “I’m not ready to face what life throws at me” are two phrases every Christian can understand. We live in a world of change, and a world of failing humanity, and many of us are uncertain about the future. Alone, we are not ready to face life’s challenges, so we must remember God is with us. We can boldly face even the most uncertain times and finish the work of furthering his kingdom through the power of the Spirit that lives within us.
In Matthew 28 at the end of verse 20, as Jesus is giving us the Great Commission, he ends with a promise that should bring peace to believers: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
My challenge to believers in uncertain times is to realize the truth Sophie wrote in her confession above: “I’m not ready God, and I need you to take control,” because even though we are not, and never will be ready, God is.