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Justin looked at the numbers on the big clock in his school classroom. He wished they would hurry up so he could eat lunch. Today was the last day of school before Thanksgiving, and his family would celebrate with a delicious turkey dinner. Justin daydreamed about turkey, corn, cranberry sauce—and pies!
“Oh yum!” he said out loud.
“What was that, Justin?” asked Mrs. Bentley, Justin’s teacher.
“Nothing. Sorry, Mrs. Bentley,” he stammered.
“Hee, hee, hee,” the class giggled.
“You need to listen now, Justin,” Mrs. Bentley reminded him.
Justin sat up straight and listened as best he could, until his pencil started to roll across his desk. It was perched on the edge ready to drop when Justin lurched forward to catch it. He jumped at the pencil so fast that his chair started to tip. Suddenly Justin found himself on the floor with his chair tipped over—crash!
“Ah, ha ha ha!” laughed the class.
“Justin,” asked his best friend, Jessie, “what are you doing? Are you okay?”
Justin nodded and rubbed his elbow. He was okay but extremely embarrassed. Then he heard the click-clack, click-clack of Mrs. Bentley’s high-heeled shoes as she walked over to see what had happened.
“Oh my! I hope you’re not hurt, Justin.”
Mrs. Bentley helped Justin get his feet untangled from the chair legs and sit back up. Justin explained what happened, but he still had to take a note home to his parents for making so much noise in class. Justin sighed—this was turning out to be a bad day.
When it was finally lunchtime, Justin hurriedly opened his lunch bag. But when he reached in for his sandwich, he found that it had been squished.
“Eww!” said Jessie, staring at Justin’s sandwich. “One of your books must have smashed it.”
Jessie reached into her own bag and pulled out a delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The bread was perfect and fluffy—it wasn’t squashed at all.
“Mmm,” she said taking a big bite.
“Oh well,” said Justin grumpily, “I’m hungry enough to eat anything now.”
He closed his eyes and bit into his sandwich. The bread was soggy, and the meat and lettuce were smooshy.
“This is a rotten day,” he said, making a face.
Jessie patted Justin’s shoulder. “Cheer up,” she said. “We have awards today. Maybe you’ll get one.”
“I hope so. That would be much nicer to take home instead of a bad note saying I was noisy in class. It was an accident. I just want this day to be over. I can’t wait for tomorrow! I could eat a whole pie all by myself.”
“Hey, that’s right!” Jessie smiled. “Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. What are you thankful for?”
“I don’t know.” Justin shrugged. “But I’m not thankful for today—that’s for sure.”
After lunch, the class worked on math and art. Finally, it was time for awards. Justin paid close attention as Mrs. Bentley called the names of the kids who did especially well during the week.
“And the last one,” the teacher announced, “is Jessie.”
Everyone clapped as Jessie walked up to receive her certificate.
Justin smiled at Jessie. She was his best friend, and it might hurt her feelings if he wasn’t happy for her. But he sure wished he could have an award, too. Now, all he had to take home was a note to his parents.
Justin’s bad day finally ended, and he woke up excited on Thanksgiving Day. When Jessie and her family arrived, the kids played games in the family room. Their dads watched a football game while their moms chattered and laughed in the kitchen as they prepared all kinds of scrumptious foods for dinner.
Finally, it was time to gather around the table for the Thanksgiving meal.
“Ooh! This looks delicious!” everyone exclaimed.
“Yum! Looks ’licious!” Justin’s little sister, Ellie, repeated. “I hungry!”
Mom smiled. “You’ll have to wait a minute, Ellie. We need to pray first and tell God thank you for everything.”
Ellie immediately bowed her head and put her hands together. “Thank you, God, for everything. Amen.”
Everyone laughed as Ellie hurriedly passed her plate to her mom to be filled.
“Well,” Dad chuckled, “while Ellie samples the food, how about if we go around the table and tell about something we’re thankful for? Jessie, would you like to start?”
Jessie thought for a minute. “I’m thankful for the award I got at school yesterday.”
Justin frowned. “I’m not thankful for anything that happened yesterday,” he mumbled.
“Oh? Why not?” asked Jessie’s dad.
Justin explained the bad day he had at school. “So I don’t feel very thankful for any of it,” he said.
“Bad stuff happens to everyone,” said Justin’s dad. “But we can still be thankful that God promises to give us the help and strength we need to get through those tough times.”
“Yes,” said Justin’s mom. “And if we stop and think about the good things God does for us, that gives us hope during the bad times.”
“So, I can be thankful for a bad day?”
“Well,” Justin continued, “I guess I’m thankful for the squished sandwich I had yesterday because it makes this dinner look so much yummier!”
Justin picked up his plate and passed it to his mom. “Let’s eat! Turkey, please!”
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.