Tracy tucked Maddie into bed. "So Maddie, what did you learn about in Sunday School today?"
"Well, Ms. Jennifer told us this story, but it was kind of weird."
Tracy chuckled. "Weird, huh? What was it about?"
"It was about this weird guy who buried a pearl in his yard. Ms. Jennifer said that's what the kingdom of God is like. But that's just silly. For one, why would you bury something? It just gets dirty. And for two, pearls are boring," Maddie stated.
"Hmmm... Well, you see, when Jesus was living on earth and telling stories, he used things the people knew about. But now, things have changes, so some of those stories don't make as much sense now. Let me see if I can find a better way to explain it to you." Tracy looked around the room. "The kingdom of God is kind of like... Mr. Wrinkles."
"Mr. Wrinkles? It's like my stuffed elephant? How?"
"Let's say I wanted to keep Mr. Wrinkles for myself. How much money would I have to give you?"
"I'd never sell Mr. Wrinkles!"
"Not even for a brand new video game system?"
"Because Mr. Wrinkles is special to me."
"Yeah, but he's just a toy. I'd even buy you a new stuffed elephant."
"Nope. I don't want a different stuffed elephant. I want Mr. Wrinkles."
"What would you do if you lost Mr. Wrinkles?"
"I'd look everywhere for him. I'd even give you all of my allowance for you to help me find him."
"Well, you see, Maddie, that's kind of like the kingdom of God. It's so valuable, we should be willing to give up everything to get there."
"So how do we get there, mom?"
"Well, you have to trust God." Tracy tried to think of examples. "Maddie, what do you do when you're standing at the edge of the pool and Dad tells you to jump?"
"What if you were on the deep end of the pool?"
"Because Dad would catch me."
"But what if Dad looked away?"
"He wouldn't do that. He's my dad and he's going to catch me."
"Maddie, did you check your bed before you got into it?"
"What do you mean?"
"Did you make sure your bed wasn't falling apart? Did you make sure it wasn't going to break before you laid down?"
Maddie laughed. "That's silly, Mom. It's a bed! It's supposed to hold me."
"So you don't check your bed before you climb in, and you jump when Dad tells you to jump, right?"
"Well, that's what trust in God should be like. We shouldn't even have to think twice about it. We should know that God knows what we need, and we should trust our lives to Him."
"Mom, I hear about trusting Jesus as your Savior a lot. I don't know if I've done that before. Will you help me?"
"I'd love to. It's easy as ABC. First, admit you're a sinner, and that you've done things that God doesn't like."
"Dear Jesus, I'm sorry for the things that I've done that you don't like. I'm sorry for the times I haven't obeyed Mom and Dad and the times when I've gotten mad at my brothers and sisters, and for all the other bad things I've done," Maddie began.
"Then believe that Jesus died on the cross to take away our sins and that He rose again on the third day," Tracy instructed.
"Thank you Jesus. I believe you died on the cross to take away my sin and rose again the third day," Maddie continued.
"Next confess that you need Jesus as the ruler of your life and that you trust in Jesus and God to know what's best for you."
"Jesus, I confess that You should be first in my life. I know I need to trust in You."
"Amen," Tracy finished.
"Amen," Maddie repeated.
"Guess what, Maddie? Now you're an official member of the kingdom of God! And the angels in heaven are celebrating. But it's late, so we'll celebrate in the morning, okay?"
"Okay, Mom. I love you."
"I love you too, Madison Grace Walker. Welcome to the kingdom of God. Oh, and good night, to you too, Mr. Wrinkles."
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