Category Archives: Streams in the Desert

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Bible Gateway

Streams in the Desert for Kids – A-Mazed

 

Ecclesiastes 7:13

Have you ever been in a maze—the real kind that’s made out of hedges and paths? There’s one at a palace in England called Chatsworth House. It is a very complicated maze. Every hedge is the same height so there are no identifying features to help you even go back the way you went in.

It could be frightening to get into a maze and not be able to find your way out. Life is like that sometimes. We find ourselves in situations where we don’t know where to turn, and when we do make a choice of which way to go, it ends up being the wrong way. It’s scary when our situation gets worse and worse. But there is someone who knows every turn, every path of our life. Jesus is that someone, and he came to guide us through life. When you are confused and don’t know which way to turn or which decision is best, you can rely on Jesus to lead you. Isn’t a relief to know you don’t have to make decisions on your own? Ask for his guidance and wait patiently for him to show you the way out of your problems.

Dear Lord, Sometimes I really get mixed up when I’m trying to make decisions about my life. Please guide me and help me to listen for your voice telling me the right way to go. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – All Alone

 

Genesis 32:24

Some kids love to be alone. They like to go into their rooms and read or think or play music. Other kids can’t stand to be alone. The more company they have the better.

Being one way or another is not better or worse. We all have preferences. It is interesting, however, to think about some of the great characters of the Bible and their miracles. Many of their great miracles happened when they were alone. Jacob in the Scripture above was alone when he met an angel who wrestled with him. Moses was by himself when he saw the burning bush. Peter was alone on a housetop when he had a vision giving him instruction about what he was to do next. Jesus often went off alone by himself to pray and think.

Maybe these people knew something we need to know, especially if you are one of those who likes lots of activity and company all the time. There is so much noise in our world coming into us that it can be very hard to hear God’s voice telling us what to do. Once in a while we need to shut off the iPod, close down the computer, turn off the TV and the cell phone, and just listen to see if God might want to say something to us. You might be surprised at what he says to you.

Dear Lord, Sometimes I use all the noise in my life to keep me from talking to you and listening to see if you have something to say to me. Help me to listen for your voice. Amen.

 

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Pit Crew

 

John 10:41

In the world of professional auto racing, only a few people get to be drivers and have their names splashed across the newspapers and TV. But for every successful racecar driver, there are dozens of back-up people, many of whom are called the “pit crew.” Pit crews are vital to the success of any racer. When the driver comes off the track and heads to the pit, the crew springs into action. They fuel the car and change all the tires in seconds. They make minor adjustments and get the driver back out on the track. Time spent in the pit impacts the outcome of the race. A slow pit crew can cause a driver to lose.

In the Bible, John the Baptist is an example of someone who never got to be the “driver.” He was more like part of Jesus’ pit crew. John’s role was to tell everyone that Jesus was coming and they should get ready. While John did not perform any miracles, he had an important job to do by alerting everyone that someone was coming soon who would take away the sin of the world. When some people asked John if he was the Christ, he simply replied, “I am the voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’” It takes a really big person to step back and let someone else shine in the spotlight. But when we perform the most everyday, insignificant tasks, God still sees what we are doing.

Dear Lord, Sometimes I want to be the person everyone talks about and praises, but help me to be humble. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Be Patient!

 

Psalm 37:7

When we read the Bible, it seems like miracles happened every day, but it wasn’t really that way. In the Old Testament, for example, God performed amazing miracles when he freed his people from slavery in Egypt. First there were ten plagues to convince Pharaoh to let God’s people go. Then, when Pharaoh sent his army after the slaves, God parted the Red Sea so his people could escape from the Egyptian soldiers. And if that weren’t miracle enough, God closed the sea at just the right time so the entire army drowned!

That’s a lot of miracles one right after the other, but God’s people had waited four hundred years for these miracles to begin. For four hundred years they were slaves and held onto God’s promise that they would one day be free to go to their Promised Land. Four hundred years is nearly twice as long as the United States has existed as a country. It’s a long, long time.

Not many people like to wait; and they especially don’t like to wait a long time for something they really want. How about you? Do you get impatient when the Internet connection isn’t fast enough or when the microwave seems to take too long? It can be even harder when God is the one we’re waiting for, hoping he will do something.

What do you wish God would do for you? Are you praying about it? Are you waiting for an answer? God knows what you need better than you do. He cares about you. Patience helps us wait quietly knowing God is going to give us exactly what we need.

Dear Lord, I have a hard time waiting. I know you have plans that are much bigger than anything I can think of. Help me to wait patiently for you to answer my prayer. Amen.

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.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – They 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 – We Win!

 

Mark 1:12

It happens to everyone—being tempted. It even happened to Jesus. No sooner had Jesus been baptized by his cousin John in the Jordan River than God’s Spirit led him into the desert. There the Devil came to him and tormented him, tempting him to use his power for his own glory instead of good. It was so bad that when it was over, angels had to come and take care of him.

If Jesus was tempted, you can be sure that you will be too. But here’s the good news. God made a promise about how he will help us. Here it is: “No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it” (1 Corinthians 10:13, The Message).

There’s more good news. Being tempted is not sin. As long as we don’t give in to the temptation we have not sinned. And one more piece of good news is that if we “submit [ourselves], then, to God [and] resist the devil … he will flee from [us]” (James 4:7). We will always win because God is with us.

Dear Lord, Thank you for making a way for us to escape sin when we are tempted. Help me when I am tempted to remember that Jesus was tempted too and he came through it without sinning. I know Jesus can help me when I am tempted. Amen.

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Not Talking

Job 34:29–30, The Message

In the Old Testament there is a story about Daniel. Daniel was praying to God for help, but none came. God was silent—so it seemed. Daniel prayed and went without food for three weeks. Still nothing. Then one day he was standing on the bank of the Tigris River when an angel named Michael appeared before him. Daniel was scared nearly to death, and fell on his hands and knees. Then the angel spoke to him. “Daniel … consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have been sent to you.” Daniel obeyed, standing but trembling like a leaf in the wind. Then the angel said, “Since the first day … your words were heard.”

God heard Daniel the first time he called out to God in prayer. Even though God didn’t respond right away, God heard Daniel. God hears us in the very same way, always listening to our prayers. He’ll answer when the time is right.

Dear Lord, I’m not always patient when I’m asking you for something I need. Help me to learn that you always hear me—even when there seems to be no answer. 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 – 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 – 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 Dessert – Go Where?

 

Acts 16:7

Have you ever played a game where you were blindfolded and your friends shouted directions about which way you should go? If you have, you know it’s scary. It’s hard to trust that your friend will keep you safe. They might let you walk into a wall. They might not see a curb you could trip over. You might not understand their directions and ram into something. Often when we are trying to figure out what God wants us to do, we might feel blindfolded. We may have to just listen to his directions and keep walking even though we can’t see where we are going. Is it scary? You bet!

But God will guide us and keep us safe in his care. He’s promised. Our job is to pray, trust in God’s wisdom, and listen for his direction. So if we have to change schools or don’t make a team we tried out for, it doesn’t have to discourage us. Often God closes doors to lead us in a different direction, meet a new person, or offer us a new opportunity that will help us to grow and change. It might be scary at first, but we’re never alone.

Dear Lord, Help me believe that you will guide me even when I can’t see anything ahead. Help me to keep walking and listening until you show me the next path to take. Amen.

Streams in the Desert – Bible Gateway.

 

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.

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