I didn’t know the young twenty-something woman choosing baptism that morning.
I know most of our large church congregation. I even volunteer once a month to help new faces find places to connect in our church. This woman I had never met. She was joined by just a few family members there to support her.
As usual, there was a small gathering of church members just below the baptistry coming to the front to show support for the woman. This is tradition at our church. Your community comes forward to be part of your memories of the occasion. It’s one of my favorite things to witness at my church … the gathering of a new believer’s community.
This particular morning it was mostly a small group of women from our mom’s ministry that came to support her. I love to watch the friends and family of the baptized. A woman that has been a friend and mentor to me since I began going to this church was among the group gathered close to watch. Her face was wet with joyful tears and I swear there was a light shining on her even if it was only in my mind.
This woman has absolutely been a Jesus light in my life, and I instantly felt warmth for the woman I didn’t know in the baptistry. I knew firsthand the encouragement and prayers she’d benefitted from with this woman as a mentor. I immediately thought of the words, “In whom I’m well pleased” when I saw the tears streaming down the mentor’s face.
My mentor friend was being baptized in joy, as she watched her friend, the new believer, identify her faith in front of the church. Knowing her character, I know that she had been Jesus with skin on to this woman.
In retrospect, I see that’s true so often during baptisms. There is always someone there who knows the struggle that has taken place in the new believer’s life. The saint that has stepped to the side to stand in prayer for the person, and I tend to watch them more closely than what is going on in the pool, because there is so much more to the story in that person’s face. The new believer is obviously full of joy, but it’s the face of the mentor that gives away so much more of the journey.
Fed up, God decided to get rid of them—
and except for Moses, his chosen, he would have.
But Moses stood in the gap and deflected God’s anger,
prevented it from destroying them utterly.” Psalm 106:23
I’ve experienced that kind of joy precious few times in my life. I’ve been the family at the baptistry twice to date, and I pray that I will be again many times over. I think perhaps there are those faithful to pray for me, that I should learn to be more like. It’s a joy that is clearly full of hope and relief, and it’s something I want for myself when it comes to so many I love.
It is a blessed assurance.
As I sit back and think about the mentor at the baptistry, I make a mental list of those I need to stand in the gap for. I can see their future even now because I know that God is faithful and His mercies are never ending.
I’m sure you can do the same. I encourage you today to keep the faith and not give up on those you know who need grace. I encourage you to reach out and be Jesus with skin on and stand in the gap for those you love, to those who God has shown you belong to Him.Who will you stand in the gap for today?Click To Tweet