...and I get around to making a makeshift, less-than-healthy lunch much too late in the day...
...and I sit there feeling defeated, yet determined to make good use of the remaining day, while the children chatter over marshmallowy hot chocolate and greasy grilled cheese...
And as I wonder how I'm going to redeem this day--Suddenly, Divine Grace swoops in, through the mouth and heart of a 2-year-old, and I don't have to do anything, because God redeems it...
And along with it--most importantly--two tender little hearts.
It all started when, over lunch, Safita (2 years 9 months) brought up the subject of heaven. This topic is one of her favorites and she talks about it all the time. This precious girl already has a very deep and meaningful love for Jesus and desperately wants to go to heaven so Jesus can hold her, rock her, and best of all, tickle her! She asks often when she can go to heaven, and speaks of death (much to my dismay!!!) in positive terms: "When I die, and you die, and Jack dies, and Daddy dies, and Soren dies, we can all go to heaven and see Jesus!!" We have asked her casually many times if she wants Jesus to be her Savior, and she always is quick and excited to answer, "YESSS!!!!" Being only 2, though, we never took it much further, because we didn't know if she really understood what it meant (although we did make efforts to explain it)...and conversations would turn too quickly to really pursue it.
Jack (4 years 9 months), has left us a little confused over the last few months regarding what is going on in his spirit. He eats up talk about Jesus and the Bible, and loves learning the Bible stories, and has a basic 4-year-old understanding of theology down pretty good, and will occasionally "preach" to the youngers. However, whenever we happen to be talking about it and ask if he wants to ask Jesus into his heart, he always will say defensively, "He already is!" but can't elaborate on when or how. Additionally, when we talk about heaven and what it means (always in a positive way), he will get extremely moody and fall into an emotional abyss that lasts the entire day--which, as he communicates, is sadness over having to lose all his toys when he goes to heaven and fear about what it will be like there. I get it...sometimes eternity is a scary thought for me too. We've kind of been at a loss for how to respond, so we just comfort him and speak truth to him, and pray that Jesus will comfort his heart with the truth of Who He Is.
And then today, miraculously, heaven came up and there were only positive thoughts! In the course of talking, I told them how Jesus has promised to come back someday, and will appear in the clouds and blast a trumpet...Safita looked to the sky and called, "Jesus, where are you? Come on!" But I was careful to gently remind them that in order to go to heaven, we need to ask Jesus to be our Savior (there were no guilt trips or scare tactics). So we talked about what that means--what is a Savior? why do we need one? how does it change our hearts and behavior? since it's a covenant, what does God promise and what do we promise? etc. These types of conversations are always good, but often the kids get easily sidetracked on silly bunny-trails. It's an important decision, so we never push it, but try to just talk to them about it as far as they are ready. We just took it a step at a time, and to my surprise, they both stuck right with me and seemed eager to hear everything I told them, responding with wide eyes and eager head-nods.
So I probed, "Do you want to ask Jesus into your heart to be your Savior?" Both eagerly said yes. The response itself was so sincere, and different than other times we have asked the question. But I wanted to make sure, so I reminded them what it means, and they still said eagerly "Yes!" I led them in a prayer, sitting on the steps of the red room, stained with greasy fingers and chocolate mouths...and they both said it with conviction and sincerity.
Then we rejoiced with hugs and kisses and--of course--tickles! And praised God with the whole host of heaven that a new son and daughter of God have been born!
Welcome to the fold, little lambs.