Bible stories tell of overcoming every fear. How comforting it is to know that God loves and nurtures each of his children in harmony, joy, perfection -- with complete protection from harm.
A recent survey of parents covered their major worries for the upcoming summer. There were responses such as war, global warming, and gas prices. But the leading concern was the safety of children. How grand and comforting it is to know the Bible, to know how the heavenly Parent loves and nurtures each of his children in harmony, joy, perfection -- with complete protection from harm! Certainly the Bible recounts the overcoming of every fear; and the majestic stories are a fit armor for today's young people. During the next few months, why not consider one of these stories as a theme for each week. You can read the story, ask youngsters what it is telling them, emphasize the salient points -- and remember them for yourselves, too.
Here then is a "baker's dozen" of stories to under gird your family's protection -- in the summer and always. The references are from the King James Version of the Bible.
- Noah escapes bad weather by building the ark (Genesis 6:5-22). Connect this to summer floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc. Point out Noah's obedience. To what or whom is each of us obedient?
- Moses provides the Commandments to protect the Israelites (Exodus 20:1-19). Discuss the protective power of the law. Note: Be alert to present-day false gods.
- David fights Goliath (I Samuel 17:17-37). Note how creative David was in choosing not to wear conventional armor! Point out his complete confidence when meeting the bully.
- Nehemiah is not concerned with those who try to stop his building the wall of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 4:1-23). Show how honest work is rewarded as the workers are unfazed by the enemy's cleverness.
- David prays a psalm of protection (Psalm 91). Count all the ways God's love protected him and protects young people today from stumbling blocks and fears.
- The boys survive the fiery furnace (Daniel 3:1-30). Emphasize the importance of maintaining one's values -- how one can come through challenges untouched by evil.
- Daniel is safe in the lions' den (Daniel 6:1-28). Although others derided his faith in God, he hung in there. Point out that he had no resentment after this incident. What are some present day "lions"?
- Jesus tells the parable of building on sand or rock (Matthew 7:24-27). Discuss what makes the right building location in our lives. How can one build on the rock?
- Peter is saved when sinking (John 6:15-21). Discuss how important it is to be fearless. While Peter had Jesus' hand to hold, who is holding the hand of your youngsters?
- Jesus is not even visible to his enemies (Luke 4:28-31). Discuss how to view those who want to do us harm. Is it possible not even to see "enemies" or be seen by them?
- Peter escapes from prison (Acts 5:17-42 and 12:1-17). Point out the importance of joy -- singing in challenging situations. What was Peter's frame of mind when he was captive?
- Paul survives a shipwreck (Acts 27:1-44). There are many varieties of shipwrecks that would try to spoil summer activities. What are our spiritual survival skills?
- Eutychus is untouched by an accident (Acts 20-7-12). Talk about Paul's response, what he said and did. How long was Eutychus's recuperation? Do we expect prayer to heal our hurts today?
Have some fun; tell some stories; make some points -- and enjoy summer!