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“I’m the captain of this ship. And you’re the first mate, okay?” said Justin. He and Jessie were playing in the new fort in his backyard, pretending it was a ship with huge white sails.
“I see a whale, Captain!” shouted First Mate Jessie as she pointed out into the pretend ocean. “Maybe they will help us find our way to the treasure!”
“Raise the sails! I feel the wind blowing!” ordered Captain Justin. This wasn’t a light breeze but a gusty wind like on the ocean.
“Storm’s coming, Captain!” Jessie called as she pointed to dark clouds forming overhead.
“Wow! This storm is for real,” said Justin. He looked up at the sky. “Maybe we should go inside.”
“I think you’re right,” Jessie agreed. The trees in the backyard bent and swayed in the wind. The leaves swished as the branches waved back and forth.
Justin’s mom came out to the porch and called to them, “You two need to come in right away. There’s a big storm coming, and I don’t want you to get caught in it.”
The kids climbed down from the fort and started toward the house when suddenly, a blast of wind caught the cover on the sandbox and blew it up and straight toward the kids.
“Kids! Look out!”
Justin grabbed Jessie’s arm and pulled her out of the way right before the cover slammed into the ground where Jessie had been standing.
“You kids okay?” Justin’s mom ran toward them. Both kids nodded, their eyes wide. Justin’s mom took their hands, and they sprinted to the porch just as rain began to fall. Everyone dashed inside.
“Phew! This is some storm! It’s a strong wind if it can blow our sandbox cover, isn’t it?” said Justin’s mom.
“Yeah, that scared me,” Jessie admitted.
Justin’s mom gave her a hug. “It’s okay. We’re safe inside now. I’m going to check on Ellie.”
Justin and Jessie turned to go to the family room when they heard a loud clap of thunder. Crack! Boom! Bright lightning flashed just outside the window.
Jessie squeaked in fear, “Ahh! I don’t like this.” She held on to Justin as they tiptoed the rest of the way.
Another crash of thunder and flashes of lightning came. “Woah! That sounds like it’s right on top of our house,” yelled Justin.
“Uh huh,” said Jessie nervously as she climbed into the big chair beside Justin. She didn’t want to sit by herself. Thunder cracked three times in a row. Kaboom! Bang! Kaboom!
Justin’s mom came in with Ellie asleep on her shoulder and sat down in the rocking chair. “Are you kids okay?” she asked. “You don’t need to be scared. The storm should be over soon. Why don’t you kids get the picture Bible and look through it while we wait?”
Justin picked up the Bible, and the kids flipped through the pages together. Outside the wind whooshed through the trees, and the rain pounded on the roof. The thunder boomed and the lightning flashed. Then came a strange popping sound—pop, pop, pop-pop.
“What’s that?” asked Justin, looking up from the Bible.
“That’s called hail,” Mom explained. “It’s like little balls of frozen rain. It sounds loud when it hits the roof.”
“I don’t like storms,” said Jessie. “They scare me. What if all the rain floods our houses, and we get washed away?”
“I don’t think that’s going to happen, Jessie. This storm is just noisy,” Justin’s mom said.
“But in kids’ club last night, we talked about the storm that flooded everything,” Jessie replied.
“Yeah,” Justin agreed. “Only Noah and his family were safe on the Ark.”
“Uh huh. Everything else was washed away!” Jessie exclaimed.
“Yes, that’s true,” said Mom. “But don’t forget that God sent that Flood to punish sin. He MEANT for everything to be washed away. But this storm is not like that.”
“How do you know?” asked Justin.
“I know,” said Mom, “because the Bible says so. Can you kids find the page that shows Noah and the Ark? It should be pretty close to the beginning.”
“Here it is! We found it!” Justin held up the Bible so his mom could see the picture of a large ship on a gray, stormy sea.
“Good job! So do you remember what God did once the Flood and the terrible storm ended?” Mom asked.
“Um. Noah came out of the Ark.”
“And the animals got off of the Ark, too!”
“Mm hmm,” Mom continued, “then God put a beautiful rainbow in the sky as a sign of His promise to never flood the whole earth again. Turn to the next page in the Bible. Is there a picture of a rainbow?”
“Yes, there is!” Justin exclaimed.
“Cool! I like rainbows,” said Jessie.
“So whenever you see a rainbow, it can remind you that you can trust God because He always keeps His promises,” said Mom as she gently laid Ellie on the couch to finish her nap.
Justin watched his little sister. “Hey, Mom, Ellie’s been sleeping through the whole storm. It didn’t bother her at all,” he said.
“Yeah,” said Jessie, “I guess she wasn’t afraid since her mom was holding her.”
“You’re probably right, Jessie,” Mom said. “But you know what? God holds onto us, too, so we don’t have to be afraid either.”
The thunder rumbled outside again, only this time it wasn’t as noisy as before. The hail stopped, and the rain turned into a soft pitter-patter on the roof.
Justin put the picture Bible down and ran to the window. The rain was almost gone, and a patch of sunshine started to peek out from behind the clouds.
“Hey!” shouted Justin. “Come here, Jessie. Look!”
Jessie looked out. Then she saw it—a big, beautiful rainbow stretched across the sky. Red, yellow, green, blue, purple. “Wow! It’s a rainbow, just like God showed Noah.”
Justin’s mom stood behind them looking out, too. “How pretty! God keeps His promises. He’s always there, and we don’t have to be afraid.”
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.