I have been taking John to swimming lessons these past couple weeks. He seems to do better with a little manly encouragement (every time he does something he looks back at me, gives me the thumbs up and waits for me to return it), and Mom is usually in desperate need of a nap by lunch on Tuesdays, so it is working out well. On the way home today, we had the following conversation:
John: "Daddy, I can't imagine going to heaven."
Me: "What do you mean John? Don't you want to go to heaven?"
John: "Yes. I'm going to go to heaven when God comes back, but I can't imagine going to heaven."
Me: (Sensing an opportunity to clarify his theology) "John, are you sure you're going to heaven? What does a person have to do to go to heaven?"
John: (A note of impatience in his voice) "Daddy, I already believed that Jesus died on the cross!"
Me: "Oh. Well that's great John. Did you already believe that Jesus rose from the dead and paid for your sins too?"
John: "Well of course Daddy!"
Me: "Well that's awesome John. Did you know that I'm going to heaven too?"
John: "Yeah Daddy. You and me and Nathan are boys together and we're all going to heaven together. And Mommy and Sara and Ashley are girls together and they're all going to heaven together too, aren't they Daddy?"
Me: "Yes John. Everybody who believes that Jesus died on the cross for their sins and was raised from the dead gets to go to heaven."
I'm not sure what brought about this discussion. One minute we were talking about how many times he put his head under the water (for the record, it was 2), and the next thing I knew, we were talking about what going to heaven is like and how somebody gets to go there. Which I guess goes to show that "quality time" is a myth. How would I get quality time with my son without quantity time? And who knows when opportunities to talk about Jesus and salvation are going to come up?
More to the point, I couldn't be happier about the outcome of our discussion. I've been praying for my children since they were born that they would come to faith in Christ early. I have seen my prayers answered with each of the oldest three so far. Today's conversation confirmed things about John's faith for me, as he has been a little shaky up to now. Now if only God will also bring Nathan to himself and help the older three to confirm their profession of faith with their lives of faithfulness, I will be a richly blessed father.
Words fail to express the depth of my gratitude to God for how He has used Karen and I to bring our little children to Himself. So I will simply close by saying "Thank you, Father!"