I’m going to begin by making a statement that will resonate with some and disturb others: I love reformed theology. I delight in the doctrines of grace. I love the unconditional election of God, the irresistible grace of God, and the perseverance of the saints. I don’t love them because they were associated with John Calvin, or because they are advocated by guys like John Piper. I love them because they are thoroughly biblical. The doctrines of grace are everywhere in scripture.
I don’t believe that I chose God, or would have ever chosen God, but that he chose me. I believe that he irresistibly drew me with his grace and that he will keep me to the end. These truths warm my heart with affection for God.
But it’s when I look at my four-month old daughter Charis, that the rubber really hits the road for my theology. She is so beautiful, so precious, so innocent looking. I love her with an intense love, and care for her with all my heart. Yet scripture tells me that she is spiritually dead and an enemy of God (Eph 2:1-3). Scripture also tells me that she was born under the wrath of God. These are difficult things for me to swallow, but I believe that they’re true.
Scripture also tells me however, that God is loving and merciful, not desiring that any should perish. Scripture tells me that God wants to save my daughter. And scripture tells me that God responds to the prayers of the righteous. I don’t understand how the sovereignty of God and prayer work together, but the Bible teaches both and I believe in both.
And so I pray intensely that God would save my daughter. I appeal to God, asking him to open her eyes to the gospel at a young age. I ask him to draw her to himself by irresistible grace. I ask him to open her blind eyes to see Jesus Christ as her savior. Before I place her in her crib each night, I hold her close, kiss her on the head, and lift my voice to God in prayer.
I believe God will save my daughter. Why? Because God is full of mercy. He sovereignly gave her a mommy and daddy who pray for her every day. He placed her in a church that preaches the saving gospel of Christ week after week. I believe that God ordained these things to lead her to Christ.
I also find great comfort in knowing that it’s God who saves. Why? Because there is no way that I could ever ‘convince’ Charis to trust in Jesus. I know that I simply don’t have the ability to open her eyes to the gospel. God must put spiritual life in her, and because he is good, I believe that he will.
I believe that someday Charis will trust in Jesus as her savior, not because of the persuasive preaching of her dad, but because of the loving kindness of her God. That’s my only hope. What’s yours?