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Psalm 1:3 â€œHe is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.â€
The psalm says that God watches over the way of the righteous. The people we love watch over us and help us. And, in this story, a family is watching over a boy in hospital.
Once there was a little girl called Katie whose brother was in hospital. One day Katie visited her brother with her mother and father. She sat on her brotherâ€™s bed and listened while everyone talked. Her mother said how beautiful the autumn leaves were that year, and her brother said how much he wished he could see them. Katie thought it would be nice to bring a leaf with her next time they visited, so she could show her brother how beautiful it was.
As soon as Katie got home she ran into the garden. She picked out the biggest and brightest colored leaf she could find and took it to her room. Katie put the leaf in a special place on her bookshelf. But, when it was time to visit her brother again, she found the leaf was all dry and shriveled up. She tried to pick it up but it crumbled into sharp bits of dust and made a prickly mess on the carpet.
Katie decided to try again and found another big leaf. She remembered how her mother put flowers in water to make them last longer, so she took a cup of water to her room and put the leaf in it. Then she left it on her windowsill. But next time they got ready to visit her brother, Katie found the leaf had rotted away. It was all soft and soggy and slimy. All its bright colors had turned to yucky brown. She couldnâ€™t bear to touch the leaf anymore so she carried it outside in the cup and threw it away.
Katie tried putting a leaf in the fridge next time to keep it fresh. But her mother said she didnâ€™t want leaves in her fridge, and she threw it out. Then Katie decided she needed to ask for help. â€œPlease Mom,â€ she asked, â€œhow can I get a leaf out of the garden and make it stay nice?â€ Her mother asked why Katie wanted a leaf but Katie just said, â€œItâ€™s a secret.â€ Then her mother told her to find two big heavy books and press the leaf between them until it was dry.
Katie looked for the biggest and heaviest books in her room. She found a Bible and a book of childrenâ€™s prayers. Then she found another big bright leaf under the oak tree in the garden. She put the leaf between the two books so they could press it flat. Every day she checked to see if the leaf had dried. And finally she took it with her to the hospital, so her brother could enjoy seeing a beautiful autumn leaf.
Sometimes our ideas are a bit like Katieâ€™s leaves. They look great when we first think of them, but then they go wrong, like leaves crumbling to dust or sliding away between our fingers. God says in the Bible that his thoughts are not our thoughts, and his ways are not our ways. Perhaps if we would stay closer to God, and learn more about him, then we might learn to follow his plans, and our ideas might work better. Let us pray.
Lord God, we want to make plans that donâ€™t wither.
We want to have ideas that bear good fruit in the world.
Please help us stay close to you.
Please remind us to read your words in the Bible and to pray
then we might follow your good plans.
free on kindle from Jan 10th to 14th, at http://www.amazon.com/Psalm-Stories-Five-Minute-Bible-ebook/dp/B00AQS1N0M/
75 stories based on verses from the first 75 psalms in the Book of Psalms. Food for more than a year of Sunday school, or a month of bedtimes and naptimes...