This past week I went camping with my son and my youngest daughter. We had the most joyous, fulfilling, and exhausting time. We played golf, went swimming, built a campfire and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows on a stick. We pitched a tent and slept out underneath the stars. We listened to Stephen Ambrose's Undaunted Courage and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony on a battery powered radio (I probably enjoyed the symphony more than they did. Being the biggest one in camp has its privileges). As we crawled into our sleeping bags for the night, we thanked God for his multiple blessings we so enjoyed that day and always. One of the blessings I thanked Him for was children and how beautifully and poignantly they bring God's grace home to me. It was graphically and unforgettably showed to me when we were fishing. Oh yeah, did I mention we went fishing as well.
While we were on the dock fishing, my daughter, who is 5 years old, was perhaps the most excited about the prospect of catching fish. She insisted on doing all of the preparation and casting herself. So, she took the pole and decided to put the line in the water, while I turned my back to tend to my own line (which must have had some type of ostieichthyes plague because all species were avoiding it). Suddenly I hear a huge splash to my rear and immediately wonder what type of fish could have made such a commotion. What did my son catch? When I turned around, I was amazed, not by what came out of the water, but by what went into the water. My daughter was off the dock and fully submerged. My son reached in and grabbed her and pulled her out. With shock on her face and bewilderment in her voice, she looked at me and kept repeating, "I didn't mean to...I didn't mean to...I didn't mean to..." The only thing that kept me from laughing (as I am now that I reflect upon it) was the speed with which this whole incident took place. It was only a matter of seconds. Needless to say, she was in no mood for fishing any longer. She wanted to go back to the campsite. She was wet and embarrassed and did not know what to do about either circumstance. With amazing care and love, my son offered the solution. He looked at his little sister and offered to jump in the water fully clothed so as to identify with her and to alleviate her embarrassment. Fully clothed, from shoes to shirt, he took the plunge. Her joy returned and mine was made full. Yet, my joy was full, not because my son submerged himself in the water for his sister's sake (that is enough to make any father proud), but because it reminded me that Christ, the Son of God, submerged himself in sin that He might identify with me (Heb. 4:15). He who knew no sin jumped into this world of sin, that we who knew only sin, might be made the Son-dried righteousness of God (2Cor. 5:21). My daughter was happy that her brother did that for her. She was not nearly as happy as I am knowing what Christ did for me. He became wet! Glory!