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.

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– posted 12.04.2009

Occupy ‘Til I Come

A Character story about faithfulness.

"Aw, Gramps, we hate to have you leave already," Stacey sighed as she hugged her grandfather's waist.
"Well, me too," Gramps replied, patting her on the shoulder. "But I have been here for almost two weeks already. Anyway, the holidays are over and you'll be going back to school."
"I know, but we could play after school, or in the evenings," Mark suggested.
"Well, that's nice of you, but I know you'll be busy with your friends and responsibilities. Anyway, it isn't as if we won't ever see each other again."
"But we don't know when we'll see you again, Grandpa," Kyle said. "That's the hard part."
"Well, you're right, Kyle. I promise, Lord willing, to come to see you again. I don't know when that will be. But I wouldn't want you to waste time staring out the window watching for me in the mean time either. So I have a little project for you each to work on. You three sit down over here and I'll explain it." The three children plopped themselves onto the couch and watched their grandfather empty a bag onto the coffee table. Eight tubes wrapped like presents clunked down and rolled across its surface. "I have some presents for each of you," Grandpa continued. "Here are five presents for you, Mark, and two for you, Stacey, and one for you, Kyle."
"Hey, how come Stacey gets more than me?" Kyle protested. "I'm older than her!"
"True, but I have my reasons which I choose not to tell you at this time. Your responsibility, each of you, is not to figure out why I gave you these presents, or why someone else got more or less than you, but how you can use your gift wisely. When I return, I will ask each of you what you did with these presents. Those who 'occupy' until I come will receive a reward."
"Occupy? What does that mean?" Stacey asked.
"You'll find the word in Luke 19:13. Have your Dad help you look it up in a Bible dictionary. I must leave now. God bless you all."
As soon as Grandpa left, the three ripped off the wrapping on each of their presents.
"They're all the same," Mark announced.
` "Five $5 rolls of dimes?" Stacey remarked.
"I still don't see why you got more than me," Kyle pouted.
"I want to find out what that word 'occupy' means so we know what Grandpa wants us to do with the dimes," said Mark.
That evening their father helped them look up the word in Strong's Concordance. "It says, 'To carry on the business of a banker or trader,' Stacey read. "Does Grandpa want us to start a bank or something, Daddy?"
"No, I don't think so," their Father answered. "I would say from this that he wants you use the money in some way to earn something even more valuable."
"How could I do that?" Kyle huffed. "Mark gots five and I only got one."
"He didn't tell you how to use them, did he? He just asked you to use them in a wise way to make their value increase. I'm sure that if you prayed about it, the Lord would show you ways to be a wise banker."
The children puzzled over the assignment for some time that evening, but no one could come up with a good idea.
The winter seemed to whiz by more quickly than anyone imagined. Now it was a Friday afternoon late in February. The children had just got off the school bus and moseyed into the house.
"Hi, Mom," Stacey called. "We're home. Mom?"
"In the living room, kids. Come on in," their mother responded. The children laid down their books and paraded in.
"Grandpa!" Stacey shouted and ran over to give him a hug.
"What a surprise!" Mark exclaimed.
"Well, I had the opportunity to come on the train and so I thought I would surprise you. How have you all been doing with our little project?"
"Great!" Mark announced.
"Wonderful. I can hardly wait to tell you," Stacey squealed. All three ran upstairs and soon returned with something in their hands.
Grandpa smiled and nodded at Mark. "We'll start with you, since you were entrusted with the most."
"O.K. We looked up the word 'occupy' and from that, I knew you wanted us to invest the money some way. At first I didn't know how to use so much money. I did pray about it for some time, like you said. Then, about three weeks ago, I heard on the weather that we were going to have a snowstorm. So I went to the store and bought a warm hat, some heavy gloves, and a good shovel. As soon as the snow stopped, I went out to the neighbors and offered to shovel their walks and driveways. In just one day I earned $50! Here it is." Mark laid a wad of bills on the table.
"Well done, my boy! You will surely receive a reward for your work. Stacey? What about you?"
"Well, you know how much I like to cook. I used the $10 you gave me to buy some flour, sugar, and other baking stuff. I made cookies and brownies and sold them at the mall on Saturday. After expenses, I earned $20 in all." She too laid the money on the table.
"Well done! You will surely receive the same reward for your work. Kyle, what about you?"
Kyle hung his head. "I-I didn't think it was fair that I got the littlest amount. I couldn't think of nothin' you could do with only $5 so I just kept it in my drawer. Anyway, I was too busy playing hockey and trading hockey cards. But at least I didn't loose it." Kyle handed the roll of dimes to his grandfather.
"Oh, Kyle, how sad I am that you were lazy and did not try to invest your money in some way. You see your brother and sister not only doubled their money, but they also did things that would serve others. You only felt sorry for yourself. Children, before I tell you the reward, I want to remind you of something. The Lord Jesus too promised to return at an unexpected time. Those who accept Him as their Saviour and who want to please Him will be busy, investing their talents and abilities in ways that please Him and serve others. This is one way we show that we love Him and that we believe He is coming again." Mark and Stacey nodded vigorously. "Say," Grandpa continued, "isn't your March break coming up in another week?" The children nodded again. "Well, Mark and Stacey, your reward will be to go with me for 5 days to Boston to take in the sights!" The two shrieked with excitement. "Who knows," Grandpa continued, holding up some slips of paper, "we might even use these tickets for a Bruins game!"

Now read Matthew 25:14-30. How does this apply to you?