CURIOUS QUESTIONS

Harold Jenkins later confessed that he was "a self-righteous follower of the world and its frivolities." His religion was psychology and logic. He did not pray or believe in prayer, nor did he go to church or any religious function. He claimed that religion was a hoax and its followers were hypocrites. He did, however, believe in basic morality, hard work, and in doing the best one could.

Upon having a son, he became anxious about his welfare and future career. He knew that as little Jason grew up he would face temptations of drugs, sex, and homosexuality, and that he would be exposed to all kinds of evil influences in today's permissive society. His mind was exercised as to what would eventually become of him.

Harold's concern for his son led him to take great care in the choice of a babysitter. The one he chose was a young Christian woman whom he felt would be honest and faithful. It was from her that Jason first began to learn about Jesus and the Bible.

Soon he was asking his father questions they were the strangest questions. Harold couldn't figure out where they were coming from or why he was asking them. They were questions about his "Heavenly Father," and "that happy land, far, far away." Harold was puzzled, and yet the questions were asked in such a sweet and earnest manner that he couldn't bring himself to shatter his son's simple belief. After all, he himself had been raised in a Christian home and taught these same things when he was a boy. Though he was no longer a Christian, he was sure it was the Christian principles he had learned as a boy that made him the industrious and prosperous man he was.

Yet, how could he answer his son's questions? He began to distrust himself and to sense a degree of inability to raise his son with the same values he enjoyed. His son didn't pray when he went to bed as he had been taught to pray. His son didn't have the same simple trust in a God to protect him while he was going to sleep that he had had when he laid his head upon the pillow as a lad. Why, he didn't even have a Bible in the house! Harold was greatly perplexed as to whether he should teach his son about Jesus, as he had been taught but how could he teach him something he didn't believe anymore?

One day tragedy struck. One of his little son's playmates died. Before the year was over, another friend was laid in the grave, and then an uncle died. It was a year of bewilderment for the little lad and more than he could take. At first he cried, and then he began to rebel against the sorrow. He began to grow bitter. He wanted to know why "God had done it?" "Why, Daddy? Why?" he wanted to know. What was a poor father to say to a question like that? He didn't want his son bitter or hard. Somehow he had to explain the best he could.

He explained how God didn't bring the suffering but that an angel named Lucifer had rebelled. Then Adam and Eve had chosen to disobey God. "It was sin which led to the suffering and misery we see in the world today," he told his son. The whole time Harold was trying to explain these things he had learned as a boy he felt like a hypocrite, for he claimed he didn't believe such things any more. Yet he felt he had to do it his son needed an answer.

Then one evening little Jason was lying in bed. Harold was sitting with his wife by the fire. She had been telling him that Jason had not been a good boy that day and had to be reproved for his behavior. All was quiet, when suddenly Jason broke out in loud crying and sobbing. Dad and Mom hurried up the stairs to his bedroom to see what was wrong.

"I don't want it there, Daddy! I don't want it there!" cried the child.

"What is it my child? What don't you want?"

"Why, Daddy, I don't want the angels to write down in God's book all the bad things I have done today. I don't want it there! I wish it could be wiped out!" He was in great distress for a little boy. What could Harold do? He did not believe in all those Christian things anymore at least he was trying not to believe. But here was his boy in great distress with a guilty conscience at such a tender age. He had to be taught the way.

"Well, you do not have to cry," his father suddenly said in a most tender manner. "You can have it all wiped out in a minute if you want."

"How, Daddy?"

"Why, just get down on your knees, and ask God for Christ's sake to wipe it out and He will do it." He did not have to speak twice. Little Jason jumped out of bed, saying, "Daddy, help me do it!"

Now came the real trial for Harold, who was trying hard to maintain his unbelief. It was one thing to say things he didn't believe but to pray! How could he pray? And yet the boy's anxiety was so great and his pleading so earnest that Harold was nearly overcome with emotion. And so, ever so reluctantly, though he dared not show it, he bowed down on his knees before God for the first time in many years. There, doing the best he could remember to do, he humbly asked God to wipe away his son's sins and give him a clean heart and a clean record on the books of heaven. Then he said amen.

"Daddy, are you sure it is all wiped out?" asked little Jason.

It seemed that every question Jason asked cut a wound into his poor father's heart. It brought his mind back to his mother's prayers and how he had once believed. And now he had a son. What would happen should his son die? Would he be ready for heaven? What would happen when he himself died? Would he be with his son? All the while he thought, Jason sat expectantly waiting for an answer. "Daddy, are you sure it is all wiped out?"

"Yes, Son. The Bible says that if from your heart you ask God for Christ's sake to do it, and if you are really sorry for what you have done, it will be all covered up."

A smile of pleasure passed over little Jason's face as he quietly asked, "And what is it covered up with? A black marker?"

Harold had to smile, but again his feelings were stirred. It was as if the Holy Spirit was determined to bring him back to his childhood faith. The Bible says "a little child shall lead them." And so it was that God was using a child to lead his father to a saving belief in the Lord.

"No, Son," Harold finally answered. "It is not covered up with a black marker, but with the precious blood of Christ. 'The blood of Christ cleanseth us from all sin.' " He hoped he had quoted the verse right.

Something changed in the heart of that poor old dad as he explained this beautiful Bible truth to his son. The tears began to flow and he could not check them. He felt like a poor, lost sinner.

Turning away he said to his wife, "Mary, we must find the Lord. Jason must know the Lord, but we must find Him ourselves in order to teach him the way."

Harold could not sleep that night. At last he got up and knelt beside his sleeping son's bed and poured out his heart to the Lord, "Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief!" Mary, too, could not sleep. And thus she joined him there beside the bed of their dear son who asked such curious questions. And God heard their prayers. In fact, he had heard their prayers long before they were prayed, for it was He who had touched Jason's heart in order to reach his parents.

 

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