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Our Daily Devotional
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TRUST JESUS TODAY
This is for 8 to 12 year olds or 3 to 6 graders. Does the language work for this age group and does the story line track and work for the age group.
I know you don’t know me, but my teacher Mrs. Smith told me I should tell you my story, so that’s why I’m writing this note. My name is Darby and I guess we are related somehow. I live in the state of Washington in America. I hope there is still an America when you read this. I’m in fourth grade and Mrs. Smith is my teacher. My best friend is Melanie. She lives down the street from me. It’s just her and her mom. She doesn’t have a dad like I do. Sometimes the other kids tease her and call her names because she doesn’t have a dad. Sometimes I do too, but not when she is around. Our other friend is Bobby. He lives on the other side of the street. He has two big brothers and a mom and a dad and of course I have a mamma and a daddy and one baby sister.
The three of us like to play together at the playground and when we have recess at school. Sometimes Bobby and I ride our bikes, but Melanie can’t because she doesn’t have a bike.
We all go to the same school and are in the same class. There is also a boy named Rocky in our class. He is supposed to be a fifth grader but they didn’t let him out of fourth grade. He is a bully. He always picks on Melanie and me and Bobby, especially Melanie, because she doesn’t have a dad. Funny thing though, Rocky doesn’t have any parents either. He and his big brother, Tank, live with their grandparents in a trailer park on the other side of town. We try to stay away from him at school, but he always finds us. So we are always looking for new places to hide.
A few weeks ago my mom and dad took Melanie and Bobby to Mt. Rainier for a day of hiking and picnicking. Mt. Rainier is a volcano a long way from our house. Mamma says it’s not so far, but it felt like we were in the car all day. The volcano hasn’t erupted in a long time, but daddy says it could happen any day and we always have to listen in case it decides to explode. There is another volcano in the state that exploded a long time ago, I think Mamma said like 1981 and she remembers it, so she must be really old. We visited there once last summer. It was kind of spooky with skinny trees and few flowers. Mamma said it was really cool the way God was bringing the mountain back, but I don’t think so.
Anyway back to Mt. Rainier. We had a real fun time that day. Us kids managed to sneak away from Mamma and Daddy for a little while. We found some old ice caves and played hide and seek there till Daddy found us. Boy was he mad. He said we shouldn’t hide like that, because he and Mamma were so scared. I don’t know what the big deal was, nothing happened. We went home after that, but not before I found some really cool rocks in the cave. Bobby thought they were just dumb rocks, but Melanie and I put them in our backpacks anyway. For a couple of minutes when I thought I was lost the rocks glowed and got really warm. I didn’t feel so lost anymore and then Bobby found me and I forgot about the rocks in my bag.
While we were in the caves I heard growling. Bobby told us it was a bear and Melanie and I wanted to leave, but Bobby said not to worry that he could take care of us, after all he was a cub scout. I didn’t think he could take care of us, after all he always runs away when Rocky comes around. Then we heard the growl again and ran out of the cave. That’s when Daddy found us and our adventures for the day were over.
Later that night, Mamma read a Bible story, we said our prayers and I was lying in my bed reading about dragons. I finally remembered the stones in my backpack and how they had made me feel in the cave. I got the stones out of my bag and curled up under the covers. Maybe these were magic stones that belonged to a dragon that lived in the caves under Mt. Rainier. Mamma wou8ld tell me I have a vivid imagination, whatever that is, if I told her what I was thinking, so I don’t think I’ll tell her. Maybe I’ll tell Melanie tomorrow, she took some of the stones too and maybe they made her feel the same way. Anyway I fell asleep thinking about dragons and Jesus.
Goodbye for now,
I suppose you are wondering what happened next, so I guess I’ll tell you. All night I dreamed about dragons guarding Melanie, Bobby and I while Rocky, Tank and a gang of fifth graders chased us around the playground. The stones were warm and comforting and it felt as if Jesus was standing right beside us the whole time in case Rocky got past the dragons. I woke up when my alarm went off at 6:00, but the last thing I wanted to do was go to school. I told Mamma about the dreams. She said it was just a silly dream and I had to go anyway, because in case I forgot we had a religion test that afternoon and I didn’t want to miss that.
When I got to school, the first thing I did was look for Melanie and Bobby. When I found them I told them about my dreams. Melanie said she had the same kind of dreams. Bobby said he didn’t dream anything, and it must be a girl thing. Then he went off to find some boys to play with. Melanie and I lined up and said our opening prayers then followed Mrs. Smith into the classroom. Rocky was at the back of the line fighting with some other boys and Mrs. Smith had to take him to the principal’s office. He would be in big trouble at least for now. Maybe he wouldn’t bother us at recess. The rest of the morning was quiet, with no Rocky in the room, but he was back with the class for lunch and then recess and boy was he mad.
The first thing he did was find Melanie, Bobby and I and start teasing Melanie because of her not having a daddy. I stepped between Melanie and Rocky, Bobby by this time had run off too hide. I yelled at Rocky, “Quit teasing her. It’s not her fault her Daddy died. Anyway where is your Mamma and Daddy?” This made Rocky even madder. He pushed me and I fell down. Melanie tried to hit him, but he just laughed and pushed her down beside me. “What a bunch of sissies and where is your little protector, chicken Bobby? (Bobby’s dad is a chicken farmer). Guess he ran away to hide behind his mommy’s skirts. (Bobby’s mom was the eighth grade teacher, although he didn’t like to admit it.)”
Rocky started to walk away. I got up and ran after him. He reached his arm back and knocked me down again. He didn’t even look or anything, just pushed me, laughed and ran off with the fifth graders.
I got up and brushed the dirt off my knees then went to see if Melanie was okay. Her hands and knee were scraped and bleeding and she had a big hole in her tights. I helped her get up and we went to find Mrs. Smith. She took us to the nurse and bandaged all our booboos and then left us with Nurse Millie while she went to get the rest of the class from recess. I gave Melanie a hug and she hugged back. I felt something warm in her sweater pocket. “What is that?”
Melanie reached in her pocket and pulled out her stones from yesterday. They were glowing. “Wow, I didn’t know you had them. Mine did that yesterday when I was lost in the cave. I wonder what it means.”
“I don’t know, but it’s kind of weird don’t you think. Glowing stones.”
“Do you feel anything else, like you’re getting a warm, fuzzy hug from someone?”
“Yes, kind of like that, but no one else is here. Where do you suppose it’s coming from?”
“I don’t know, but I sure liked it yesterday when it happened to me. I felt like everything would be okay.”
“Yeah, me too. I guess we should get back to class, before we get in trouble.”
We went back to class, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the stones or the dreams. Even during my religion test, they were on my mind, fortunately not enough to distract me from the test. I had studied hard for the test and the last thing I wanted to do was fail. Mamma would be really mad and might not let me play with Melanie if I failed.
After school Melanie and I walked home. I’m not sure where Bobby was, but that wasn’t weird or anything since his mom worked at the school. Melanie pulled her stones out of her pocket again. They looked like normal stones, nothing out of the ordinary. I wished I had remembered to bring mine, but I was so upset about my dreams this morning that I left them on my pillow.
“What do you think is going on with these stones?” Melanie asked.
I shrugged my shoulders. “I don’t know, seems pretty weird to me. Maybe we should ask someone, like your mom.”
Melanie shook her head. “No way, Mamma’s to busy at work. What about your mom?”
I shook my head. “My mom already said my dreams were nothing, she’d think I was nuts or something.” I stopped dead in my tracks.
Melanie stopped and looked at me. “What’s wrong, why did you stop?”
I started running. “I left my stones on my pillow. What if Mamma finds them or Baby Jane? What if she tries to eat them? I have to go get them.” I ran all the way to my house with Melanie running behind me trying to catch up and wheezing all the way.
By the time we reached the house she couldn’t breathe anymore. I called my mom to come help us. When Mamma got to the porch she sat Melanie on the swing and asked her if she had her inhaler with her. Melanie shook her head and whispered she had run out and her mom hadn’t gotten a refill yet.
Mamma grabbed a cell phone from her pocket and called an ambulance while I tried to calm Melanie down. When the ambulance got there they gave Melanie medicine. Soon she was breathing okay and they gave her a ride to the hospital anyway. After she left Mamma and I went into the house and she reassured me while we made dinner. We ate dinner and I did my homework, and then went to my room. My stones were still on my pillow right where I had left them. Mamma did our Bible reading and left. I got the stones from under my pillow and held them in my hand. I was still upset about what happened today. The stones began to glow and as I fell asleep I saw a purple dragon standing by my bed. She spoke to me in a smooth gentle voice, “Don’t fear child, I won’t hurt you. I’m here to help. You, Bobby and Melanie are special and God loves you. He won’t let anyone hurt you, but you must be brave. He has something special in mind for you.”
I looked at the dragon and pulled the blankets over my head. I never had a dragon in my room and everything I heard about them told me they were bad and liked to hurt people. Why was there one in my room? “Don’t hurt me. I didn’t do anything to you.”
“Don’t worry I won’t hurt you. I’m here let you know you are loved. My name is Myrria and I come from God. He has a mission for you and I’m here to get you ready to do his work.”
“But I’m just a kid, what can I do for God?”
“You aren’t ready, but when you are it will be revealed to you. For now though you must sleep and don’t worry about Melanie or Bobby, I’ll visit them when the time is right.”
“But Melanie went to the hospital today, will she be okay?”
“Yes don’t worry; she’s already home in her bed. Her stones are under her pillow and healing her as she sleeps. Now you must sleep, close your eyes my dear. I’ll be back soon and we’ll talk more.”
Myrria faded into the darkness. I jumped out of my bed and ran to where she had stood. There was nothing there except for a small stone. I picked it up and took it back to the bed and put it under the pillow with the others. I wondered what did the stones have to do with her and what kind of mission would God want me, Darby a nine year old to do?
I fell asleep dreaming of flying to heaven on Myrria’s back.
I thought you would be here and curious as to what happened next. When I got up the next morning my room seemed normal like it was before I went to bed last night. Maybe it was just a dream. Mamma came up to make sure I was getting ready for school. I told her about the dream. She just shook her head and gave me a hug. “Darby, you have a very active imagination, but it was just a dream. I wouldn’t pay too much attention to it.”
“But Mamma, it seemed so real and look,” I pulled the stones from under my pillow. “She left another stone. I only had three and now I have four.”
“They’re just stones. You probably misplaced one and just now found it.”
“No, Mamma, Myrria left it for me. She said God had a mission for me and she would come back and tell me about it. Mamma I saw her.” I started crying. Mamma hates it when I cry.
“Okay Darby enough of this silliness. Put the stones away and get ready for school. We leave in ten minutes and you better be ready to go.” She left me standing in the room with a handful of stones and stomped down the stairs to get my breakfast.
Mamma never believes me, but I know what I saw last night. I saw a dragon and she would be back. I would show Mamma and everybody else. I wasn’t just any nine year old. God had a mission for me.
After putting the stones in my backpack, I got ready and headed downstairs. Daddy was sitting at the table waiting for me. “Are you giving your mother trouble again young lady?”
“No Daddy, I just told her about my dream last night, but she doesn’t believe me. She never believes me, says I have a vivid imagin… oh whatever, I don’t even know what it is. I was telling the truth. I did see a dragon last night and she told me God has plans for me.” I started crying again.
Daddy wrapped me in a big bear hug. “Shh, don’t cry baby. Mamma’s stressed out, the baby hasn’t slept well and Mamma has a lot on her mind with her new job. Why don’t we keep your dreams between you and me? That way you won’t stress out Mamma and maybe things will be a little quieter around here.”
“Daddy you believe me don’t you?”
“Of course I do, baby. But let’s not tell Mamma.” Just then Mamma walked into the kitchen.
“Not tell me what? Jack you aren’t encouraging her are you? She needs to let go of these fantasies and grow up. If it weren’t for these fantasies Melanie wouldn’t have gone to the hospital yesterday.”
“Evie, a child needs her dreams, leave her be.”
“No she needs to quit dreaming and get to school. I don’t have time for this today, Darby get you jacket it’s time to go.”
I gave Daddy one last look, a kiss on the cheek, then a hug. I grabbed my jacket and went to the car.
When we got to school, I jumped out of the car before Mamma had a chance to say anymore about Melanie or my dreams. In the classroom I looked for Melanie and Bobby. Only Bobby was there. He told me his Dad stopped by Melanie’s house to pick her up this morning, but her Mom said Melanie still wasn’t feeling well and wouldn’t be in school today.
I started feeling bad again. Did I make Melanie sick by worrying about a bunch of stones? Was this all my fault? I went to my desk and laid my head on the desk. Melanie was sick and it was my fault. But Myrria had said she was okay. Maybe it was a dream like Mamma said; maybe I should forget all about it and put the stones in the garden. But I know they glowed and Myrria was in my room. I just know it’s all true.
After school, Bobby and I went to visit Melanie. Bobby picked up the work she missed and we wanted to drop it off. While his mom was driving us I tried to talk to him about my dream. He didn’t want to listen all he wanted to talk about was the soccer game coming up on Saturday. He and I played on a team at the YMCA and one of his older brothers was the coach. Bobby really likes sports. If he could all he would do was play ball, any type of ball, basketball, football, baseball, soccer, anything. I liked sports too, but not as much as Bobby. So I quit talking about my dream and listened to him.
Then I heard it, a little voice whispering in my ear, “Give him the stone, the one I left last night.” Huh, I saw Myrria last night and she left me the stone. Now she wanted me to give it away. I couldn’t give it to Bobby, it was my stone, I found it. He didn’t even believe the stones were magic. “Give him the stone.” I opened my bag and pulled out the extra stone. His Mom stopped at a red light that was now green. She started to pull into the intersection when we saw a white truck come flying right at us. Bobby’s mom stopped the car really fast and the truck passed us. I looked at the stone. It was glowing. I handed it to Bobby. His hand was shaking as he took it and looked at it. “What’s this and why is it glowing?” The shaking in his hand stopped and his breathing slowed. “Wow Mom, that was close.”
“No kidding, Bobby. Look down the street.” Bobby and I looked out the window. Down at the end of the street was the truck and it had run into a tree. “We were lucky, that could have been us instead of that tree. I hope the driver is okay.” His mom pulled the car to the side of the road and got out. “You two stay here; I’m going to see if he needs any help.” She took out her cell phone and dialed 911 as she walked to the truck. Bobby and I sat there. We couldn’t believe what happened.
“Why did you give me this stone?”
“How does it make you feel? Are you feeling any better, calmer, maybe like you’ve just gotten a hug?”
“Yeah, but that’s silly it’s just a stone. How could it do that?”
“I’ve been trying to tell you, but all you wanted to do was talk about soccer. Last night a dragon named Myrria came into my room and she left the stone. Just before that truck drove by a voice told me to give it to you. The voice sounded just like Myrria. And now you have the same feeling that I got the other day in the cave and Melanie got yesterday while we waited for the ambulance. Like someone is giving you a big hug. Myrria told me she is a messenger from God and here to prepare us for a mission and somehow these stones are tied to it. I don’t know what’s going on, but whatever it is, it’s serious.”
Bobby tried to hand the stone back, but I wouldn’t take it. He shrugged his shoulders and put it in his pocket. His mother came back and the police arrived. The driver got out of the truck and was talking to the police. The driver was Rocky’s big brother and he was wobbling all over the road.
“Mom, what’s wrong with him?”
Bobby’s mom got back in the car. “I’m not sure, but I think he has been drinking or taken some medicine. He shouldn’t have been driving. Thank goodness we saw him before he could hit us and someone get hurt. I think the police are going to take him down to the police station and call his grandparents. Someone really needs to keep an eye on those boys.” She started the car and we drove to Melanie’s. After dropping off Melanie’s homework, Bobby’s mom took me home. It was another quiet night at home until I went to bed. Then Myrria came back.
“Thank you for sharing your stones. They are gifts from God and not to be hoarded. When you share them you share God’s love and protection.”
“So what about my mission, I’m not sure Bobby believes me and I haven’t talked to Melanie, so I don’t know what she thinks?”
“Don’t worry about them, they’ll believe when they’re ready. I’m preparing them just as I’m preparing you.”
“Can you tell me more about what God wants me to do?”
“Not yet child, but soon. You’re almost ready. Do you still have the other stones?”
“Yes, but what do they have to do with anything, aren’t they just dumb stones?
“Darby, you already know they aren’t dumb stones. Three times now they have proven that they are more and yet you doubt. Why?”
“Well Mamma, Daddy and Bobby all say they’re dumb stones and I have a vivid imagin… ohh I don’t know, it’s one of Mamma’s big words. She says it’s time for me to quit dreaming.”
Myrria reached out and stroked Darby’s mousy brown hair. “I’m sorry she said that. Your mother has had a lot of trouble in her life and it’s made her hard and unbelieving. You just have to believe that what I tell you is the truth and someday she’ll see it too.”
“Okay if you say so, I still wish you would tell me what the mission’s all about though.”
“Soon you’ll know more, be aware though one will come before you who needs your help. Be ready.”
“What do you mean? Who’s going to need me?”
Myrria faded from my vision. “In time my dear, in time. Remember God always loves you.” Then Myrria was gone and my stones glowing. I fell asleep to their warmth as if embraced by God’s love.
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