Category Archives: Streams in the Desert

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Bible Gateway

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Believe!

 

Mark 11:24

A young boy who lived far away from his grandmother loved video games. His grandmother knew he loved to collect the different games and told him she would send him a special new game for his birthday. When his birthday came, there was no video game in the pile of gifts and no note from his grandmother saying she had changed her mind. When his friends asked him what he got for his birthday, he listed all the gifts he had opened and then he added, “And my grandma’s going to send me a new video game.”

His mother overheard him and asked him about it later, “The game from Grandma didn’t come,” she said. “Why did you tell your friends it was going to be here?”

“If Grandma said she would get it, she will. So it’s just the same as if I had it now.”

Days later when there still was no video game, he asked his mother, “Do you think it would do any good for me to email Grandma and ask her if it’s still coming?” His mother encouraged him to give it a try.

Grandma wrote back the same day she got her grandson’s message and said, “I haven’t forgotten your game. I have been looking everywhere trying to get exactly the one you wanted, but have not been able to find it. I’m sending you some money so you can buy it in Chicago. Would that be all right?”

This boy believed in his gift when he could not see it. He knew his grandmother would not let him down. She would keep her promise. That is what faith in God is all about. We know him and we know he will not fail us. We know he will keep his promises, and we live waiting for him to give us what we need.

Dear Lord, Help me to believe that you are at work even when I can’t see anything happening. I know you hear me when I pray. Thank you for listening. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Don’t Fret

 

Psalm 37:1

What in the world does “fret” mean? Here is a little word that doesn’t have any positive definitions. It means “to worry, to be discontent, to have something be eaten away by something else.” It means, “to torment or irritate or upset someone or yourself.” So when the Bible says not to “fret” it means “quit worrying about it.” That’s not always easy to do, is it?

Here’s another little word with a negative definition: Envy. Envy is a kind of jealousy. The dictionary defines it as the “resentful or unhappy feeling of wanting somebody else’s success, good fortune, qualities, or possessions.” We can envy someone else’s clothes, their looks, their friendships, their talents, or their achievements. For example, when a friend does well on an exam, instead of being happy for her, you feel jealous and you wish it could have been you instead. That’s envy.

The Bible says that we shouldn’t fret about or envy the apparent success of people who do wrong. Do you know someone who got rewarded for cheating? How did it make you feel? Did you fret and feel envious? Unfortunately, fretting and envy don’t change the situation, but they do make us miserable. That’s why the Bible says not to fret or envy. And although people who cheat to get ahead appear to be getting away with it, they’re losers in the long run.

Dear Lord, I admit I have both fretted and been envious. Please help me to be content with doing honest work and to trust you with the rest. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – You Are Worth More than Flowers

 

Matthew 6:30–33, The Message

Have you ever wandered deep into the woods and found a beautiful flower blooming there? Ever wondered who, besides you, will ever see that beautiful flower? Jesus talked about that. He said that God gives a flower so much beauty and detail and then he may put it in a place where no one ever sees it. Why? It is because God makes everything perfect whether or not anyone notices. Everything he makes has a purpose. You have a purpose. And he didn’t make any mistakes when he made you. Even if you sometimes feel like you are hidden in the woods where no one notices you, God has a purpose for your life.

Because you are his child, God will take care of all your needs. Jesus told the people of his time to stop worrying about everything. He told them that God knew they needed certain things to live. He said that if God dressed the flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, God will certainly take care of his children—that includes you—who are much more important to him than flowers.

If you can understand that God loves you and wants to take care of you, life will be a lot easier. God knows what you need. God knows what your family needs. Count on the fact that God knows, and trust him.

Dear Lord, I know you love me and that you care about my needs. Help me to trust you to take care of me and my family. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Help Me!

 

Matthew 15:22–23

A man once had a dream about Jesus who came upon three young men. As he came to the first of the three, he bent down to talk with him and smiled. He even gave a quick hug. Then he came to the second. He only put his hand on the young man’s head and gave him a quick look. Then he came to the third young man. This time he just walked right past and didn’t do or say anything.

Those who were watching wondered what that third young man had done to cause Jesus to ignore him. So they asked Jesus why he treated each young man so differently. Jesus said, “The first young man is a new Christian and he needs all the help I can give him. I wanted to encourage him, so I spent time with him. The second young man is a little stronger and loves me a little more. I can trust him and so I didn’t spend as much time with him. I was not ignoring the third young man. I love him very much and I’m training him for a very important role in life. I want him to be able to trust me even when it seems I’m not paying attention. It’s important for what I want him to do.”

When you pray and it seems like your prayers are being ignored, know that God hears you. God’s silence isn’t anger or disapproval. In fact, he loves you very much and it could be that he is training you to trust him even when it feels like he’s not paying attention. Perhaps he is preparing you for a greater role than you ever imagined.

Dear Lord, I still have a lot to learn about trusting you. Help me to believe you are at work no matter what I see. Amen.

They Streams in the Desert for Kids – Didn’t Even Get Their Feet Wet!

 

Psalm 66:1-2, 6

The Bible is full of stories about how God helped his people when they faced impossible obstacles. When God parted both the Jordan River and the Red Sea so his people could cross over, the pathway through was completely dry. They didn’t even get their sandals wet. When Jonah was thrown overboard, God sent the big fish to save him from drowning and get him to dry land. When Naaman faced a debilitating disease, God told his prophet Elisha how Naaman could be miraculously healed in the Jordan River.

Our God is one of miracles and grand gestures of love. Because he loved us first, we are privileged to love him back, even when facing big problems—especially when facing big problems. In the Bible, Job faced exceptional pain and tragedy when he lost his home, his possessions, his health, and, worst of all, his family. And yet in his grief, he demonstrated love for the Lord who loved him first. “At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said … ‘The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised’” (Job 1:20–21). The same God who chose to save his people with miracles didn’t spare Job from his pain. But God still delighted in Job. And Job still rejoiced in God. Their relationship was deep and it helped Job face his tragedy.

Dear Lord, I don’t know when I’ll have to face something really hard. What I do know is that you go ahead of me and make it possible for me to pass through hardship. Thank you for loving me that much, Father. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – We Could Make Beautiful Music

 

2 Corinthians 11:2

A young man carefully held his kora harp in his hands. “If I were marooned on a desert island, the one thing I’d want with me is this harp,” he said.

The kora harp is a West African instrument and has twenty-one strings. Each string is attached to a tuning peg on a long neck of the harp. The young man held the instrument between his knees and, with his hands on two handholds on either side of the neck, plucked the strings to make a beautiful sound. As he plucked the strings, he often stopped to tighten or loosen one of those twenty-one tuning pegs. He knew exactly which string was out of tune. Most who listened had no idea there was anything wrong with the string, but the young man who knows his instrument well, and who is a master at playing this instrument, knew the sound it made could be better than it was. He loved his harp. He understood it and he wanted its music to be perfect.

That’s the way God is with us. He loves us so much, just like the kora harpist loves his instrument. He knows all about us. He knows when we are living a true life and when we are faking it. He knows what our lives can be if we let him correct us and tune us so we make music that is harmonious with his will for our lives. And he will never leave us. He’ll be close by to help us, always.

Dear Lord, Help me to let you change me into who you want me to be. I want to make beautiful music with my life. Let my life be like a love song to you. Tune me up so no ugly or unkind words come from my mouth. Thank you, Father, for loving me so much. Amen.

 

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Tools of the Shepherd

 

Psalm 23:4

The rod and staff are tools of the shepherd. The rod is a club that the shepherd has carved from the root of a tree and fitted to his hand. The shepherd keeps the rod with him at all times and uses it as a weapon. When wild animals or snakes threaten the sheep, the shepherd takes aim and uses the rod to kill or drive off the intruder.

The staff is a useful and essential tool for the shepherd. Many staffs had hooks at the end for catching sheep that were wandering off, for lifting a lamb and putting it back beside its mother, and for pulling away thorny bushes the sheep might wander into and get caught in. Sheep fall over cliffs and have to be rescued. They get into weeds that will make them sick if they eat them. They must have a shepherd with them at all times to care for them and guide them. The shepherd uses his staff to assist the sheep. Sometimes he uses it to pull a sheep close to himself so he can inspect it for cuts and bruises.

So how are God’s rod and staff a comfort to us? They comfort us because God is our shepherd, guiding us day by day. Some days we may feel the hook of the staff around our necks guiding us back to the right way. Sometimes we hear the rod as it flies past our head to chase away something that would have hurt us. And sometimes we feel the staff of God’s love pulling us close to him.

Dear Lord, You are my Good Shepherd. Thank you for watching over me even when I am stubborn and foolish. Thank you for pulling me back in line and closer to you. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Take a Deep Breath

 

Matthew 14:13

Musicians know that a song isn’t merely a series of notes. Deliberate beats of silence, called rests, make up the melody as well. Blending notes with rests, the musician creates a unique composition of harmony, melody, and depth.

As we go through our unique life, sometimes we are actively “playing notes” and sometimes we are obligated to take rests. Consider the times when we don’t get to do what we want, but instead have to take a break. God is still with us. Even unexpected disappointments are part of his plan. Just like rests in a song, they have a purpose. If we’re sidelined by a coach, we can accept the rest with the attitude that we will be ready when we’re called on again. If we miss a field trip because of the flu, we can still appreciate the quiet time that our body requires to get healthy again. If you are forced to rest, don’t let a bad attitude get in the way of the future notes you are to play.

Dear Lord, Even though I know you measure out the rests and the notes, I am still disappointed when I can’t participate where I want. Please help me get through it so that I will be ready when I can. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Determined

 

Luke 18:1

David Livingstone was one of the greatest missionary doctors who ever lived. But when he was struggling on his expeditions, he didn’t look so great. His exploration of the River Zambezi was a failure—the river could not be navigated. He kept trying to find a way until the British government ordered him home. After that, no one wanted to give him more money to return for more explorations.

After a while, he somehow found the money to return to Africa. Once he got there, no one heard from him for six years. Many thought he was dead, but he was not. Although he was seriously ill, he was determined to stay in Africa until his mission was complete. He stubbornly continued to explore. Finally, he died and his friends carried his body a thousand miles to the coast so that he could be returned to England and honored with a proper burial.

At the time he died, many people thought Livingstone’s whole life was a failure. But now, many years later, we know he traveled 29,000 miles in Africa, and that he made important geographical discoveries for Great Britain, such as Victoria Falls and four important lakes. He explored Central Africa so missionaries could go there. He was honored by African chiefs. He spoke out against slavery. And others who knew him were inspired to build schools to educate African children. Much good has come of his life.

One of the things Livingstone said was, “I determined never to stop until I had come to the end and achieved my purpose.” That means he decided he would never give up, and it explains a lot about who he was. It also helps us understand that we must not give up praying for whatever it is we want and need from God.

Dear Lord, First help me know what I should pray for, and then make me determined never to stop praying and talking with you. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids -When Life Gets Tough—Hang On!

 

Mark 4:37

Storms are scary. They are destructive and they can threaten life. When a huge hurricane named Katrina swept ashore in New Orleans, it just about ruined the city. Jesus’ disciples knew all about storms, so when they got caught in a furious squall on the Sea of Galilee, they were sure they were about to die. They expected their boat to be demolished by the storm. Jesus was asleep in their boat, so they woke him up and asked him to save them. And that’s what Jesus did. He spoke to the storm and told it to be quiet.

Tough times come to everyone. Sometimes someone we love gets sick. Sometimes a friend betrays us. Sometimes there are real storms like hurricane Katrina. There are lots of scary things that can happen, but just like the disciples, we have Jesus in the boat of our life. We just have to call out to him. He will help us find a way through the worst problems we could ever have.

Dear Lord, Thank you for being there through the good times as well as the bad. I know that with your help I can overcome anything that comes into my life. Help me trust you more. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Winning with God

Romans 8:37

There were some ancient people known as Phrygians who lived in what is now the country of Turkey. They believed that when you conquered an enemy, some of the enemy’s physical strength passed into you. That’s just a myth, of course. But when we Christians struggle against sin and win, we grow stronger. We grow more powerful not from the enemy, but from Christ’s strength. Then we can face the next battle stronger. We become more than conquerors because we have Jesus fighting with us against the enemy.

God knows that every day that we try to live for him, we are fighting a war with an enemy. Satan doesn’t want us serving God. He’d rather hurt us than see us become conquerors with Christ. But through the mighty powers of God’s Son, we can defeat the enemy and become great warriors in God’s kingdom.

Dear Lord, I know that with you all things are possible. Please give me your strength to help me beat the enemy. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Happy Just to Be … Myself

 

Philippians 4:11

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to compare yourself to others? Even if we know better, we look at someone else and think he or she has it better. How many times have you thought: If only I had the right hair or clothes or shape … If only I were taller or faster or bolder or funnier …

There’s an old story of a king who went to his garden and found everything withered and dying. He asked the oak tree what was wrong. The oak tree said it was sick of living because it was not as tall and beautiful as the pine tree. The pine was dropping needles because it couldn’t grow grapes like the grapevine. And the grapevine let itself shrivel up because it couldn’t stand straight and tall like the peach tree. Every plant in the garden was discontented and wanted to be something different, except the violet. There it stood with its happy face turned toward the sun. The king asked the little flower why it was so happy and content when every other plant in the garden was so miserable. “Well,” said the flower, “I figured that if you had wanted a big oak tree or a pine tree or a peach tree in my spot, you would have planted one; but you planted me—a violet. Since I knew you wanted a violet, I’ve made up my mind to be the best little violet I can be.”

You were made by the almighty Creator with a purpose in mind. Wishing to be anything other than who you are does nothing more than steal your time, energy, and joy. But when you see yourself how God does, you realize how great you really are. So you can stop concentrating on other people and instead focus on your own blessings. Only then will you find you are ready for all the plans and adventures God has for you.

Dear Lord, Help me stop comparing myself to other people and worrying about the things I think I lack. Thank you for all of the gifts you have given me. Show me how I can best use them for your glory. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids -No Money, No Worry

 

Romans 4:18–19

More than a hundred years ago in England, there were many orphans with no one to care for them. A man named George Müller and his wife began helping orphans by inviting the children into their own home. Soon he had five orphanages where more than 2,000 children lived. George was a man of great faith and he never asked anyone for money to support his ministry or the orphanage. He never went into debt either. He believed God would give him what he needed, so he decided not to take a salary when he became the pastor of a small church. He trusted God to care for him and his family. God always provided for George’s needs and more, and that made his faith grow. Many times, there was no food at the orphanage, but George went right on believing God would provide. Food always showed up just in time to feed the children.

By the time he died, Müller had cared for and educated thousands of children. He had given away thousands of Bibles, even more New Testaments, and millions of other religious books. He also supported 150 missionaries. You see, he believed that God could meet all his needs even when there was nothing. He was like Abraham who hoped even when he couldn’t see how God would help him.

If God took care of George Müller and his orphans, he can take care of you. Is there something your family needs? Pray and believe God will meet your need. You will be surprised at the awesome things God will do for you too.

Dear Lord, Thank you for giving us what we need as we do your work in the world. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids -The Choir to End All Choirs

 

Revelation 14:3

Once in a while a writer in the Bible pulls the curtain back and we get to look into heaven. That’s what happens in Revelation 14. Wow! What a sight!

Picture this: There are 144,000 believers standing on top of a mountain. Soon there is the sound of harps being played before the throne of God and before the thrones of the twenty-four elders who are nearby. There are four creatures near the throne that are covered with eyes—even under their six wings. All these creatures constantly give glory, honor, and thanks to God. (See Revelation 4:4–11.) Then the 144,000 begin to sing a song about how they had been redeemed (saved) from the earth.

It is a song that only they can sing. It is a song of redemption. The angels cannot sing it. Only those who have experienced God’s grace and transforming power can sing this kind of song. What a choir!

Our life on earth, including the hardships, is part of our “training” to sing songs of redemption in heaven. When we accept salvation, we become part of the future choir. God’s Spirit says, “Let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life” (Revelation 22:17). That’s all we have to do to join in the celebration around the throne of God at the end of time.

Dear Lord, I want to be a part of the great choir that sings around your throne in heaven. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Full to the Top

 

Matthew 14:17-18

God is not stingy. When he gives, he gives a lot. Think about places where flowers cover a hillside. Are that many flowers really necessary? Think about water spilling over a waterfall. More water than we can use.

There’s a wonderful story of God’s abundant giving in the New Testament. It happened when Jesus was teaching many people out in the countryside away from any town. He and the people had been out there all day, and the people had grown hungry. The disciples wanted to send them away. But Jesus told the disciples to feed the crowd. They had no food to share except a little boy’s lunch of five loaves of bread and two fish. That was enough for God to work with. Jesus took the loaves and fish and broke them up in pieces. Soon they had enough food to feed 5,000 men along with women and children. And here’s God’s abundance part of the story: twelve baskets of leftovers fed the disciples and their families. God gives abundantly. So whatever you need from him, be sure that he will give it to you, sometimes beyond what you need.

Dear Lord, I know you have enough to meet my needs. I want to trust you to give me what I need and more. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – In God’s Time

 

Genesis 21:2

Did you ever notice that God doesn’t seem to be in a hurry? Often it seems as if he waits until the last moment to answer our prayers. God had promised Abraham that he would make a great nation out of him, but Abraham had no children. How was he to become a great nation if he had no son? It was thirty years from the time God first promised Abraham a son until he held his little boy, Isaac. Later, Isaac’s son Jacob had twelve sons, and the children started multiplying. After many years they formed a nation—the nation of Israel.

What is your family praying about? Is there something you’ve waited and waited for? Don’t give up. Keep praying, and God will answer in his time, which is always perfect.

When Isaac was finally born, there was much happiness in Abraham and Sarah’s house. God’s promise was worth the wait. And it will be for you too. When Jesus finally answers your prayer, you’ll be smiling.

Dear Lord, I’m looking forward to that happy day when you answer my prayer. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Night Songs

 

Psalm 77:6

Animals that are active at night rather than during the day are called nocturnal. For example, nightingales are birds that sing at night. That’s how they got their name. People aren’t like that: we’re awake and working while the sun shines, and we go to bed and sleep during the night.

Do you ever have trouble sleeping at night because you are worried about something? David, the man who wrote the psalm above, sometimes couldn’t sleep. While he was awake at night, he used the time to pray, sing, and think about God. In another place David says, “My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises” (Psalm 119:148). Instead of worrying about his problems, David took the time to think about God’s promises.

The next time you are lying awake, try singing a song from church. Or ask Mom or Dad to pray with you. Perhaps it would help just to remember that God said he would never leave you alone.

Dear Lord, Your promises are just as good in the night as they are in the daytime. Thank you for your love. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – No Stress

 

2 Corinthians 1:8–9

Today we call pressure stress. You hear many people talking about stress. Stress can be bad if all we do is worry. It can be good if it pushes us toward the only One who has answers for our stress—God our Father.

Once a stressful situation has passed, you come out of it with the ability to help other people. Think about the last time you had to study for a hard test. You probably felt pressure until you finished the test. But now when a friend talks about being stressed out about an exam, you know exactly how he or she feels.

Or do you remember a time when your mom got really sick or your dad traveled away for several weeks? Was it stressful for the rest of your family? But when the sickness or travel was over, you were relieved. Now, you can be understanding when others face a similar situation.

The most important thing to remember is that any time you face pressure, turn to God first. If you learn to rely on him, you will experience his peace and the stress won’t be as overwhelming. Then you will have a truly helpful answer to offer others—God’s strength.

Dear Lord, Everybody talks about being “stressed out.” I’m so glad you are the answer to all stressful situations. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Above the Clouds

Job 37:21

When you read a verse like the one above from Job, you may begin to wonder what was going on with Job and his friends to bring up such a conversation.

These guys said to Job, “Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash? Do you know how the clouds hang poised?… Can you join him in spreading out the skies, hard as a mirror of cast bronze?… Now no one can look at the sun, bright as it is in the skies after the wind has swept them clean.” In other words, “Job, you don’t know enough to understand God’s ways.”

Then God answered Job (chapters 38–41; read it sometime—it’s beautiful). God said that he is the one who has created everything the way it is. God sees the sun even when to us it is covered by clouds. Now Job knows he can hear from God. He can understand what God is doing in the world when he learns to consider that God’s perspective is so different from ours.

Do you want to hear from God and see his bigger perspective? You can if you will pray with all your heart and ask God to show you his plan and his way.

Dear Lord, I know you made everything, understand everything, yet you want to talk with me. You give me understanding. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Every Single Thing

Mark 9:23

Everything? Wow! That’s some promise, Jesus! The promise was given when a man brought his son to Jesus. The boy had an evil spirit living inside him. It made the boy do strange and sometimes dangerous things. The father said to Jesus, “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” That’s when Jesus answered with a question, “‘If you can’?” and then said, “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

So what do you want from Jesus? Would it be good to pray for something then add, “If it is your will”? That’s the hard part of knowing how to pray—are we praying the way God wants us to pray?

Understanding that Jesus can do everything is easy because God’s Word says it is true. But that doesn’t mean God will automatically do everything you ask. Even though he can, he may delay an answer—or do something else—to develop your faith. For example, God told Joseph that Joseph would rule in Egypt one day. But many years passed before God put Joseph on a throne. During that time, God tried Joseph’s soul but developed his faith.

The challenge for us is to believe God’s Word that says he can do anything, but then trust that if he doesn’t do what we ask, he is up to something else for our good.

Dear Lord, I believe it. You are the one who can do everything. I trust you and whatever answers you give me. Amen.