Trust Me

By: Jeff Erno

Chapter 1

Shawn was only five years old when he accepted Christ as his personal savior. It was at the First Baptist Church during vacation Bible school. Of course there were many other children present, all of whom had raised their hands when asked if they wanted to be “saved.” Although Shawn didn’t fully understand what he needed to be saved from, he obediently followed Mrs. Stewart into the kitchen area of the church where she then had him kneel reverently in front of an aluminum folding chair. He clasped his hands together as she indicated to him and rested his elbows against the seat of the chair. He had to stretch just a bit to reach it because he was such a little guy. Then he repeated the words of the prayer she said to him with his eyes squeezed tightly shut.

Now he was born again. Jesus had entered his heart. It was funny, because he didn’t really feel it. He didn’t feel all that differently than he had before Jesus was inside of him. It surely did make Mrs. Stewart happy, though, as well as many of the other adults who were at that summer Bible school. After all, this was the ultimate purpose of VBS, to lead children to the Lord.

Shawn wasn’t really sure why it was that he needed to be saved. He honestly had no concept at such a young age what original sin was. He didn’t even actually know about death yet. He’d not yet known anyone or anything that had died, except for the goldfish that his mom had flushed down the toilet once. His bratty cousin Louis had been over to the house and had dumped an entire bottle of fish food into the bowl when no one was looking. By the time his mom noticed, all the fish were floating upside down at the top of the bowl. She was upset, and explained to Shawn that the fish had died. Then she flushed them.

He knew that Jesus had died too. He’d died for our sins, but Shawn didn’t know whether or not he’d had any of those. Mrs. Stewart asked him if he ever was a bad boy. Was he ever naughty? Shawn was a little bit afraid to answer the question because he knew what the consequences could be. He had already been informed by his mom that naughty children only got coal in their Christmas stockings from Santa Claus. If he lied and said he was never naughty, then that itself would be naughty, wouldn’t it?

Shawn remembered how sometimes he fed his vegetables to Betsy, the family’s pet beagle. He had to do it secretly when he sat at the dinner table, sneaking the food under the hem of the table cloth. But was that really completely naughty? After all, he was sharing. Probably Betsy didn’t think it was a sin.

In general, Shawn was not all that naughty of a child. He was a good boy. He knew how important it was to behave when he went out to eat with his family. He knew that little kids had to always be polite to grownups, never interrupt them when they were talking. He knew that he had to brush his teeth every night before he went to bed, and he had to try real hard to go right to sleep when his mom tucked him in. He’d learned all about being good in preschool. His teacher’s name was Miss Rice, and she had taught the kids how to stand patiently in “single file” when they were waiting for the bus. She’d taught them how to cooperate, and how to follow instructions. Shawn was quite good at all of these things, and he didn’t actually know what it even meant to be really naughty.

But he did know that if he did not admit that he was bad sometimes, then he wouldn’t be able to have Jesus come into his heart and be saved. So he told Mrs. Stewart what she wanted to hear. He told her that he was bad sometimes, that he was naughty. He prayed the prayer just like she said: “Dear God, I know that I am a bad boy sometimes. I know I’m a sinner. I know that I can’t save myself, but Your son Jesus Christ died for my sins. I ask him to come into my heart and to be my savior.” And it seemed that was all there was to it. Now he was saved. He was “born again.” He was a Christian now.

There were many children at that vacation Bible school who prayed this same prayer. In fact, almost all of the kids there did so on one occasion or another. Shawn didn’t know most of the kids, but the few he did know had not seemed any different to him after their salvation than they were before. Becoming Christians didn’t seem to make them any better or worse. It was just something that they did because they knew they were supposed to.

Also By Jeff Erno

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