Isaac and I were talking today about our move to Tanzania. He periodically talks about how he doesn't want to go, and we can leave him with Oma & Opa while we move there for a few years. :) We haven't really taken the time to explain to him WHY we are going, so today, as we took down the ornaments on the Christmas tree together, I tried to give him the best explanation I could.
The first Bible story that popped into my head was that of Jonah. I asked him if he could tell me the story. Wow - he has an amazing memory and he set me up perfectly. He told me a very complete version - even getting the 'big fish' part correct instead of saying 'whale'.
"So God asked Jonah to go to Ninevah, to tell the people there who didn't trust in God that God is REAL and that he loves them and they should trust Him"
We focused on this part of the story, not on Jonah's running away and disobedience. :)
I shared with him how Daddy & I had been praying for a long time about where God might want us to go, and that we felt God was asking us to move to Tanzania to tell the people there about God's love and grace. Not exactly the same task Jonah was given, "“Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”, but I think he understood the idea. God asks us to do something, or go somewhere, and we must be obedient to that. (and yes, I know there is much more to the story of Jonah than that - it's not just a story about obeying God - but I think it worked with a 4 year old!)
He got pretty excited and said he had a great idea. He told me that he when people come over to the house that we're going to live in in Tanzania, he can tell them the story of Jonah and tell people that they should trust God and God loves them. He also told me that Hope can't do it, "because she doesn't know enough words to tell the stories of God." :)
I love seeing him grasp a bit more of God's story in Scripture, and in our family. He is starting to recognize that not everyone in the world believes God's redemptive story, and that we can be a part in sharing this with others.