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“Good night, Justin. Sleep well,” Justin’s dad said as he turned out the lamp by the bed. Darkness filled the room.
Justin tried to sleep, but his mind kept whirring round and round, thinking about different things. It was dark. Only a tiny bit of light from the street lamp drifted in through the window. Suddenly Justin saw shadows moving on his ceiling. “Ahhh!” he screeched as he pulled the covers up over his head.
Mom rushed into his room and turned on the lamp. “Justin, what’s wrong?” she asked.
“There’s something on the ceiling,” Justin told her.
Mom looked up. “I don’t see anything.”
“It’s gone now, but it was there a minute ago.”
“Really? Let me see.” Mom clicked the lamp off and gazed up at the ceiling. “Hmm.”
“See? There it is!” Justin pointed at the shadows skittering across the ceiling.
“Oh, I see. Justin, those are shadows from the leaves on the trees outside. The wind is blowing, and the street lamp makes shadows on your ceiling. And look—there are shadows on the wall too.”
“Are you sure?” Justin asked timidly.
“Yes. I’m sure. Besides, God is with you. You don’t have to be afraid.”
“Okay. But can you leave the lamp on anyway?”
“I suppose so. I’ll turn it off after you go to sleep. Good night, dear.” Mom left the room and closed the door.
Justin felt much better with the lamp on. He snuggled down into his blankets and drifted off to sleep.
The next morning Justin raced to his window. Sure enough, there were two trees with lots of leaves that fluttered in the breeze. “Whew! Mom was right—just leaves in the wind. Nothing to be afraid of,” he told himself as he dressed for school.
That afternoon during recess, Jeremy saw Justin swinging on the swing set. “Hey, Justin! You want to come over for my birthday? My dad said I can invite two friends to go see a baseball game. My favorite team is playing.”
“That sounds great! When’s the game?” Justin asked.
“Not until Saturday afternoon. But I thought you and Udo could come over to my house tomorrow night for a sleepover. Then we can go to the game the next day,” Jeremy explained.
“Okay. That’ll be super! I’ll ask my mom.”
After school that day, Justin told his mom about Jeremy’s invitation.
“That sounds like a great idea,” Mom said.
“I can’t wait!” Justin danced around the kitchen. Suddenly he stopped. “Oh no! What if Jeremy turns out the light and I get scared? What will I do?” Justin gulped.
“Justin, you don’t need to worry. Just because it’s dark doesn’t mean God isn’t there,” Mom explained. “Jesus said, ‘I will never leave you.’ And he’s faithful to do all that he says. So you can go to Jeremy’s and have a great time!”
The next day after school, Justin packed his pajamas, toothbrush, and clothes, then headed over to Jeremy’s house. Justin felt a little nervous, but he knew what his mom told him was true—God wouldn’t leave him, even when the lights were out. “Please God, help me not to be afraid,” Justin prayed as he walked down the sidewalk.
The fun began as soon as Justin and Udo got to Jeremy’s house. First they played soccer in the backyard. Each boy took a turn being goalie while the other two tried to pass and score. Then they munched on pizza while they watched a funny movie. After that, the boys played more games and gobbled down cake and ice cream. Finally it was time for bed—and they were all worn out.
The boys spread out their sleeping bags on the bedroom floor. Justin slid into his sleeping bag and stared at the ceiling. He swallowed hard and squeezed his eyes shut, waiting for the lights to go out.
“Hey! That’s cool!” Udo said.
Justin opened one eye and peeked out. To his surprise there were glowing stars all over the walls and ceiling.
Justin opened his other eye. “Wow! When did you get those, Jeremy?”
“Actually it’s a special lamp that shines them all over. It was an early birthday present from my parents, because I was having a hard time sleeping.”
“How come?” asked Udo.
“Well.” Jeremy was a little embarrassed. “I was afraid of the dark. I never wanted to turn off my light at night. Mom and Dad gave me the lamp as a reminder that God created day, night, and the stars, and is still here with me—even when it’s dark.”
“That’s awesome!” said Justin.
“Yeah!” Udo yawned. “It’s a lot easier to sleep this way. It helps me remember that God is here.”
“Me, too!” said Justin. “Thanks, Jeremy.”
“For telling us that you were afraid too. I don’t feel so bad for being scared of the dark—and now I’m not anymore!”
“That’s great, Justin,” Jeremy said as he turned over in his sleeping bag. “Neither am I. Good night, guys!”
And they all slept soundly under the glowing stars.
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.