Excerpt from
The Jensen Family

Probably he got caught in a steel trap like this one over here," their dad said, pointing to an exhibit in the next case.
"But how could he get free from that?" Julie asked.

Continue Reading...

– posted 12.04.2009

#27- Second Best?

A Character story about trust.

It was a cool day in mid September. "Please get up right away and get dressed. I want to talk with you at the table," Mr. Jensen told the twins as he woke them that morning.
Jason and Julie got up quickly and dressed without a word. Soon they were racing down the stairs and entering the kitchen.
"What's up, Dad?" Jason asked, "And where's Mom?"
"Both of you sit down and listen carefully. It looks like this is going to be the day we have been waiting for and I need to give you some instructions."
"Oh, goodie!" Julie squealed. "Can I go to the hospital with you, Daddy?"
"No, Sissy. There wouldn't be anything for you to do there. I have arranged with the Murphy's for you to go to their house after school. Mrs. Murphy won't be home until about supper time but I know you will be fine. If the baby takes longer than expected, you might even need to sleep there tonight."
"But Daddy, this is the day I was going to go to Karen's after school to study our Sunday school lesson."
"I'm sorry, Sissy. Our plans are changed for today. I'm sure Karen will understand."
"But they don't have any girls at the Murphy's. Can't I-"
"Julie. Please. I want you both in one place when I need to get in touch with you. We'll drop you off at school on the way to the hospital so please get eating."
The twins devoured their breakfast in record time and then placed their dishes in the sink.
On the way to school, Julie leaned up from the back seat. "Please call the school as soon as you know anything. You know I'll be worried about you all day, Mom."
Mrs. Jensen smiled. "Please don't worry. Just pray for me. If all goes without a problem, you should have a new brother or sister by the end of the day."
"Here," Mr. Jensen said, offering the twins each a card. "If you find yourself worrying, just read this."
As soon as Julie arrived at school she ran into the building to tell her teacher. "That's nice," the teacher responded, "but you need to go back outside until the bell."
Julie went back out and told Jason. "She sure wasn't very excited," Julie remarked.
"Maybe 'cause it's not her that's having it," Jason said.
"Yeah, I suppose. Oh, I don't know how I can concentrate on that big math test we're having. I studied hard and I think I know it pretty well. I so want to do a good job on our first big test."
"Just relax," Jason assured her. "Worrying isn't going to make any difference for Mom or Dad. If you really believe God will take care of them, then you can't worry. Did you read the card Dad gave you?"
"Oh, I forgot. It's in my book." Julie took it out and read it: 'Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. Not as the world giveth give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27' "Boy, I need that today!"
Julie tried so hard not to worry. She pulled the card out and read it several times through the day. But she could not keep her mind on her work. And when the teacher returned the math tests, Jason had an A but Julie had a B-. She sighed in disappointment.
At recess Julie finally had an opportunity to talk with Karen. "Guess what! This is the day my mother is having the baby. I'm so excited I can hardly think."
"Wow!" Karen responded. "I couldn't either. Oh, I so hope it's a sister."
"Yeah, me too. Oh, that reminds me. I can't go to your house after school. Daddy wants us both to be in the same place so we have to go to the Murphy's."
"That's OK. I can't be in Sunday school Sunday anyway. My dad wants to go on a camping trip over the weekend and that usually means till late Sunday."
"Oh," Julie said, not hiding her disappointment. "I wish you could stay with us so you didn't miss."
"Yeah, I don't like to miss, but I like to go camping too. This camp ground has a real nice beach. It will probably be our last camp out this fall."
After school, the twins got a ride to the Murphy's house. Julie decided to pass the time doing her homework but then discovered that she had forgotten her math book. "Jason, did you bring your math book home?" she called to the basement where the boys were playing.
Jason came to the foot of the stairs. "No, 'cause I already finished that assignment. Sorry."
"That's OK. It's not your fault." Julie ambled into the living room and slouched into a chair. It seems like nothing has gone right for me today, she thought. She put her head back and began to pray for her mother again. Soon she fell asleep.
A hard knock on the front door startled Julie awake. She jumped up and rubbed her eyes. A second knock summoned her to the door.
"Hi, Sissy," Mr. Jensen greeted. "Where's Jason?"
"Oh, Daddy! Is the baby born? Is she a girl? How's Mommy?"
"Everyone's fine. Go call Jason and I'll tell you both at once."
Julie summoned Jason and soon the three were seated in the living room.
"Well," Mr. Jensen grinned. "You both have a brand new baby. . . brother."
Julie glared at her dad in shock. Then she grinned. "Daddy, are you teasing me again?"
"Nope. I was right there when he was born."
Jason bounced up. "Wow! Neat! Hey, I'm going to tell the guys downstairs." He quickly disappeared to the basement.
Mr. Jensen looked at Julie. She was staring across the room.
"And how do you feel about having a big, healthy, bouncing baby brother?"
Julie paused, and looked down, sighing deeply. "I guess a little disappointed. But I should have figured it would be a boy today. Nothing else has gone right for me."
"Oh? Like what?"
Julie summarized the day- not being able to go to Karen's, getting a B- on her test, forgetting her book, and Karen not going to Sunday school.
"Sissy," Mr. Jensen said, putting his arm around her shoulder, "Do you think God is giving us second best when things don't work out the way we want them to?"
"No, I guess not."
"Does that mean God still means what He promised in Romans 8:28, 'All things work together for good to them that love God..'?"
There was a long pause. "Sometimes," Julie answered, still looking down, "I don't understand that verse at all."
"Isn't it good to know that the promise is still true, even when we don't understand it? That's why we can obey the command of First Thessalonians 5:18- 'In everything give thanks . .' Would you like to do that with me right now?"
Julie sighed deeply again, and then looked up with a smile, nodding. Then she bowed her head. "Lord, you know I really wanted a sister, but thank you for a brother just the same. Most of all, I want to be the right kind of sister to him, so that he will want to love you with all his heart. Amen."