Jessie's Bad Luck

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Lesson 114

Church had just let out, and Jessie was waiting for her mom to finish talking to a lady who wore bright red, high-heeled shoes that made clickety sounds when she walked. Jessie couldn’t remember the lady’s name but knew she had helped her mom in the little kids’ class.

“Okay, Bev,” said the red-shoe lady. “Good luck with the kids next week!” Jessie watched as she turned and walked down the church hallway—click-clack, click-clack.

“What did she mean when she said, ‘good luck’?” asked Jessie.

“Oh, she won’t be here to help with the kids next week,” Mom explained, “and that was her way of saying she hoped everything would go okay.”

As Jessie and her parents headed to the car, Mr. Ray stopped her dad. “Well, Dave,” he said in his gruff old voice, “how is your car running these days?”

“It’s running pretty well,” replied Jessie’s dad.

“Well, that’s great. I was worried when you told me it wouldn’t start the other day. It was a bit of bad luck that you missed the men’s breakfast.”

“Oh, I just ate breakfast at home. But the car’s running fine now, thanks.” Jessie’s dad smiled at the man and waved goodbye as they walked on.

When her family got home, Jessie skipped up to the front door like she always did. Suddenly, she tripped on her shoelace and toppled sideways, landing in a bush! “Ooof!” she gasped.

“Jessie! Are you okay?” Dad reached down and lifted Jessie out of the shrub.

“Yeah, I’m okay. Thanks, Daddy.” Jessie stood up and brushed a few leaves off her dress.

“I’m glad you’re not hurt,” said Mom. “Why don’t you run up and change clothes while I make lunch?”

Jessie went to her room. “I guess Mr. Ray would say that was bad luck,” she said to her cat, Freckles. “But then, Miss ‘Red Shoes’ would say it was good luck that I landed in the bush and not in the dirt.”

Jessie opened the closet and grabbed a hanger for her dress when, all of a sudden, the rod that held up all her clothes came loose. Crash!

“Wahh!” Jessie yelped as she jumped back, tripping over Freckles. Dresses and pants and shirts flew every which way, landing on top of Jessie and her cat. “Wow! That was a bit of bad luck, wasn’t it, Freckles?” Jessie said in her best “Mr. Ray” voice.

“Meow!” Freckles agreed.

When Jessie finally went downstairs for lunch, she announced, “I’m sure having a bit of bad luck today!”

“Huh? What do you mean?” Dad asked.

Jessie told her parents what happened in her closet. “So my clothes all fell down AND I fell into a bush. That sounds like bad luck to me.”

“It sounds more like accidents to me,” said Mom.

Jessie thought about that then asked, “Well, how do you know if something is bad luck or just an accident?”

“Listen, Pumpkin,” Dad said. “There isn’t any such thing as luck—good or bad.”

“But I heard the lady at church tell Mom ‘good luck’ and then Mr. Ray said it was ‘bad luck’ when your car wouldn’t start. I thought since people from church were talking about luck then it must be real.” Jessie felt confused.

“I don’t think people at church really believe in luck,” Dad added. “At least they shouldn’t.”

“So, if luck isn’t real, then why do good things and bad things happen?” asked Jessie.

“You know the answer to that,” said Mom. “Think about who is in control over everything.”

Jessie thought for a minute. “Oh yeah, God is in control over everything. But does he make bad things happen?”

“He may allow things to happen, but the Bible says God will always do what is right and good according to his purpose.”

Jessie scrunched up her face. “I don’t get it."

“Well, God is good, and he doesn’t do anything that is wrong. But we do live in a world with sin in it. So accidents happen, people get sick, and things break. That doesn’t mean God caused those things, just that he allowed them to happen,” Dad explained.

“Many times, he will let something happen to help us learn a lesson or learn to trust him more,” Mom added.

“Hmm. Like now I know to keep my shoelaces tied so I don’t trip and fall again,” said Jessie.

“Yes, like that,” Mom agreed.

“So, what about luck? Does it have anything to do with God?” asked Jessie.

“No, Jessie,” Dad said firmly. “There’s no such thing as luck. It’s made up by people who don’t believe in God.”

“Sometimes people just use the words ‘good luck’ or ‘bad luck’ as a way to say they hope things go well or they’re sorry things aren’t going well,” Mom explained.

“Yes, that would be better,” Dad agreed. “But the important thing is that you understand what you believe in: God or luck.”

“I believe in God,” said Jessie. “And I hope he won’t let me have any more accidents today. But if he does, I know there’s a good reason.”

A Fun Part of Answers Bible Curriculum

Justin & Jessie show kids how the Bible applies to real life! These weekly stories are part of Answers Bible Curriculum, our full-Bible, chronological Sunday school program for all ages.