Thursday, January 5, 2012
It seems that most of the significant conversations I have with Eli happen the in car. Probably because he's strapped in his seat with a captive audience (me), and he doesn't like to let a second of silence go to waste. So he chatters continuously and asks a million questions.
Yesterday we were driving home from playgroup and listening to the song "Oh you can't get to heaven" from a kid's praise CD that Eli knows every word to and he was singing his little heart out. He started telling me how silly it was to think that you could get to heaven in a rocking chair when the only way to really get there was to drive your car right in. The comment made me laugh and then I started reminding him of our prior conversations about our sinful hearts and how God sent Jesus to die for our sins so that we could someday live forever in Heaven with Him. And I reminded him that we have to believe in Jesus and ask Him to come live in our hearts to help change us to be more like Him.
After a few minutes of conversation Eli told me he wanted Jesus to come live in his heart and asked me to help Him "get in there." I hesitated for a moment, because I wasn't sure how much he understood of what I was saying and thought maybe he was too young for all of this. But then I looked back at his innocent face staring at me in the rear-view mirror and when he said "please mommy" I knew that now was just as good a time as ever. So I lead him through a very simplified version of the sinner's prayer and he repeated everything I said in almost a whisper with his eyes closed and hands folded. When we finished, he immediately looked down at his coat and said, "Well, I don't see Jesus's head sticking out of my chest yet, so I hope he's in there." And he went right on back to singing along with the music and laughing with his sister.
So although I'm still not sure what his mind understands about salvation at 3 1/2 years old, I got a true glimpse of what Jesus was talking about when he tells us to have faith like a child. It was one of those moments where I thought my heart might absolutely burst. You always wonder as a parent if the lessons and values you are constantly teaching (and sometimes forcing) on your children are getting through at all to them. I am so thankful that God showed me in an ordinary car ride that there is fruit coming from my struggles, and prayers, and heart to raise kids that grow up loving Jesus.