Last night Israel, Elijah and Josh went to a birthday party. On the way Israel began talking about Little One. They had a conversation about Heaven and about how everyone who trusts in God gets to be with Him forever. Josh asked Israel if she knew how to trust in God.
"We go to church, so we trust in God."
"Not everyone who goes to church trusts in God."
"We read the Bible, so we trust in God."
"Reading the Bible does not mean we trust in God."
The conversation shifted quickly to the brightly dancing lights on the mosque outside the car window as Yesterday was Bajram, a Muslim holiday here.
"But what are the beautiful lights for, Daddy?"
"What is Bajram?"
"Bajram is where they sacrifice a lamb to remember that Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son, but God gave him a lamb to sacrifice instead. But we don't sacrifice a lambs anymore because Jesus said He is the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world."
Then they talked about the holidays we celebrate to honor Christ: Christmas for His birth, Easter for His resurrection and one day we will celebrate Him coming back...and everyone who trusts in Him will be with Him forever.
That brought the conversation back to trusting God.
"First it's about recognizing that we do bad things. Remember when you were mean to Mommy today?"
"Yes, Satan whispers to us and says 'Yeah, be mean to Mommy!'"
"Yeah and too many times we listen and do what he says. But that's why Jesus died on the cross so He could forgive us for all the wrong things we do. Trusting in God is saying 'I'm tired of being the boss of my life. God, will You be the boss of my life?'"
(Insert confused question) "Tired of being the boss of my life?" (Israel enjoys her role as first born girl and being bossy)
"Yeah, when we're the boss we always mess things up, but God never messes things up when He's the boss. And that's what is really means to trust in God."
"So does Jesus whisper in our ears (insert whisper voice) 'Trust in Me. Trust in Me.'"
"Yes, He does. And what He wants us to do is to pray to Him and ask Him to forgive us and be the boss of our life."
"Can we pray that right now?"
Josh wanted to stall so that we could all be together when she prayed. He also wanted to make sure she understood everything so he asked her to say everything back to him again. She did.
When they got home it had been over 2 hours later. Josh had Israel explain it all to me. She got it. She understood the Gospel. Then she asked if she could pray that right then. Never did Josh ask if she wanted to pray. It was her initiative. And it was the most precious prayer.
Today Israel was a different child. When she was frustrated and disobeying, it was obvious she was working things out with the Lord. During her disobedience I asked her, "Israel, who is the boss of your life?" She replied, "I want God to be the boss of my life, Mommy. I'm sorry. Please forgive me." It's the transformation God offers us through the cross. And He is changing our four and a half year old girl. And He is changing us. We are grateful.
And Little One rejoices too. Yes, sweetheart. Your life has dignity. Your life has purpose. And your big sister will join you in Heaven because God used you. We love you.
We are thankful and rejoicing that God would bring this about during such a difficult part of our journey; that God would use our Little One to help our Big One give her life to Jesus.