I have a story for you about a first-grader named Sophie. Sophie loved school, and she was so excited to be in first grade this year! But even so, when she thought of school, Sophie worried. Some days she worried so much that her stomach would hurt. Do you know what she worried about? I’ll tell you.
Sophie lived quite a distance from school, and this year she was going to ride the school bus to get there. She was shy, and the thought of getting on the bus and finding a seat and maybe even having someone talk to her scared her! And the more she thought about it, the worse it seemed in her imagination. What if the big kids laughed at her? What if she missed her school stop? What if the other kids were mean to her? The questions just kept filling her mind.
She hadn’t ridden the bus before, and because it was unfamiliar, it was making her afraid.
Sophie’s dad could see that something was bothering her. One day he called her to come and sit by him on the sofa. He put his arm around her and cuddled her close and asked her what was bothering her.
Sophie knew her dad would listen to her troubles, so she told him about her fears. All the questions and scary imaginings tumbled out while he listened.
“Wait here just a minute, Sophie. I have something to show you,” her dad said. He was gone only for a minute, and when he came back, he brought with him her Bible and a miniature knight. It was a toy he had played with as a child.
“This little guy helps me remember God’s promise of protection. Do you see how he is covered in armor? The armor will protect him from the enemy. Listen to the description of God’s armor for us from Ephesians 6 (verses 10–18 NLT):
Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. . . .
Put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
“Now listen especially carefully to this part, Sophie:
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
“The Bible tells us to put on salvation as our helmet. Salvation is a gift from God to all who believe in our Savior, Jesus, and God wants that reassurance to protect our minds and free them from worries. The Bible also reminds us to pray. Let’s pray now about your worries.”
Sophie’s dad prayed with her. When it came time for her to ride the bus, she remembered the knight he had shown her. She pictured God’s armor surrounding her, and she knew that she could face her worries about the bus.
You might be thinking, “I’m not afraid to get on the bus,” but all of us have fears and worries; all of us face temptations. The next time that you find yourself in a situation like that, remember your Savior, Jesus, and remind yourself that his love and protection for you are real!
Let’s pray together now. Repeat after me (pause at the slash for the children to repeat):
Heavenly Father,/ thank you for giving us faith in our Savior, Jesus,/ and for protecting us./ We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Editor’s note: This month’s devotion is slightly adapted from the Ministry Message that accompanies Fearbusters: Never Fear, Jesus Is Here!, one of CTA’s fall festival themes. You can find all of the prizes, giveaways, and goodie bags you need for your fall festival at www.CTAinc.com!
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