Yesterday morning I was reading my Bible when Olivia woke and came to me.
"Whatcha doin', Mom, readin' your Bible?"
We talked about some of the things we learn from the Bible... how we're sinners and need God to forgive us, how He sent Jesus to die in our place. I gently explained that unless our sins are forgiven, we can't know God or go to heaven. God is perfect and can't have sin in His heaven.
"But I want to go to heaven, too!" she declared.
Oh my. Could she possibly be ready? But she's so young. And for weeks and weeks she's been refusing to accept the fact that she is a sinner! This is fundamental. So I asked her again. "Are you a sinner, Olivia? Have you ever sinned?"
Her head lowers. "Yes, Mommy. And sin can't be in heaven."
Twice more throughout the day, she turned the conversation back to salvation, asking the same questions and arriving at the same sad conclusion: I am a sinner, and because of my sin, I can't go to heaven. Finally, I simply asked her, "Livvie, would you like to have your sins forgiven?" She said she did, but she seemed distracted and began talking about other things before I could respond.
At bedtime, we talked about it some more, and I began to tuck her in and kiss her goodnight. She got very quiet (100% NOT normal) and looked upset.
I asked, "Olivia, why do you look sad?"
With tears in her eyes and a tremble in her voice, she whispered, "I want to go to heaven. I want my sins forgiven."
It was my privilege to lead Livvie in a simple prayer, confessing her sin and her need for Jesus. She asked God to forgive those sins and make her heart clean. When she finished, she tried in vain to wipe the huge smile off of her face.
We talked a good while longer, snuggled up next to one another. She had a little trouble understanding why she couldn't go right to heaven, right now. I explained to her that God had a special job for her to do, and He would take her to heaven when it was her turn to go. She asked me what heaven will be like, and what Jesus looks like. She wondered if Jesus would go for a walk with her one day. She told me it felt nice to have her heart all clean, and did I think she could snuggle with Jesus one day in His bed? What a gracious God!