"In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." -Luke 15:10
Just recently, Elijah seemed to become very aware of the idea of sin and has been able to recognize it in himself. We have talked a lot about what it means to follow Jesus and turn from your sin. He follows the conversation, seems to understand and believe in God, but whenever I would say, "Is following Jesus something you want to do? Do you feel ready to ask Jesus to come live in your heart?", he would very politely, but very definitively, decline. I knew that this was part of God's work in his life, softening his heart towards the truth of His word.
Well, today, when I least expected it, Elijah initiated the conversation that ultimately redirected the entire course of his life. We had MOPS this morning at church and we were on our way. As the Lord ordained, Leah wasn't there because she was spending the morning with her BFF Peyton (Thanks, Steph!). Emily was quietly resting in her seat. Elijah and I talked a bit here and there but it was a mostly quiet ride. When were about 5 minutes from church he said to me, "Mom, I really want to go to heaven." I said, "I want you there too, bud. Do you know what you need to do?". He said, "I need to ask Jesus in my heart."I said, "That's right, buddy. And what does that mean?", to which he responded, "I need to ask Jesus to forgive my sins and follow Him". What a joy to hear my son so accurately, and yet so simply, describe the process for experiencing redemption from sin! I was overwhelmed. I talked with him a bit more about what kind of commitment this was and if he was sure he was ready. He said yes. I told him to wait until we got to church so I could park the car and go back to the back of the van and pray with him.
Praying with him was one of the most joyful, humbling, and proud moments I have ever experienced. I couldn't keep the tears from flowing down my cheeks. I told him how happy I was for him and how thankful I am that he wanted to talk about that with me and pray with me. I told him as much as I love him, I could never love him as fully and perfectly as Jesus does. I told him no matter what happens to me or anyone else, Jesus would care for him. I told him how many people have prayed for that very moment since before they even knew his name.
I know he will experience pain in his life. I am certain he will experience seasons of doubt. I know the road will not be easy. But what a joy to know that he does not walk it alone! Thank you, Lord, for saving me. Thank you, Lord, for saving my son.
And thank YOU, to all of you who have prayed with us. I have been struck today but what a great cloud of witnesses we have around us! Elijah wanted to call each one of his grandparents individually today and share the news. Each one of them were overjoyed, as well as so many others that heard. We are so blessed!