Here’s an excerpt from the fifth book in the Free Rein series, A Dollar Goes a Long Way.
Sunday morning the King family headed off to church. As had become routine, Geordie joined them. Jacqui happily headed out to kids church with her redheaded friend, thinking once again how nice it would be if Hannah were with them.
Hannah didn’t think much of God, church or the bible. It seemed to make her uncomfortable anytime Jacqui would talk about it, so she’d learnt to not bring such things up in front of her other friend. Jacqui wondered if that meant Hannah would never learn about God.
This week they were looking at having the strength to do something, in spite of being scared. Jacqui was surprised to find that this was what courage was all about.
As their teacher talked about being obedient to God even though you’re scared, Jacqui realised she had recently had such a conversation with her mother. Jacqui’s pony Jaq had been getting difficult to handle and Jacqui had fallen off him a couple of times.
She was scared of falling again, and had decided it may be easier to not ride him at all. Kate had encouraged Jacqui to get back on her pony in spite of being scared of falling.
Under Kate’s instruction, Jacqui had been able to correct Jaq as he got pushy and disobedient. This had helped her confidence to grow a little. That afternoon Kate had had a fall off her horse Captain, and broken her arm.
Jacqui had been surprised to find that her mother would be getting back on a horse as soon as her arm was better and the doctors said it was ok. Kate didn’t seem scared by the idea at all.
Jacqui had come to learn that falls would happen every now and again, but if she learnt from them it would make her a better rider. She just needed to learn to protect her body in the event of a fall, and to correct her pony if his behaviour caused the fall.
Their teacher at church was talking about the many things that King David did in his life while being afraid. David was described in the bible as a man after God’s heart. Above all else, he cared what God thought of him and sought to do what his Saviour would want.
“It is understandable that we feel pressure from people at home, school or elsewhere, but we need to recognise that God is the main One whose opinion we should care about. Sometimes we may be scared to do something that we know is right. Or maybe we are being stubborn and we just don’t want to. It’s important to consider what the right thing to do is, and do it in spite of being afraid.”
A young girl put her hand up in the class. Brian nodded at her.
“Do you have a question, Sarah?”
“If we do something even though we’re afraid, because we know it’s good for us, does that mean we won’t get hurt?”
“Now that’s a tough question! We have to trust that God will look after us, but we also have to know that things can go wrong.
“Let me give you an example: if I was nervous about crossing a really busy road and I decided to cross it anyway, because I needed to get to the other side, that doesn’t mean I can’t get hurt. In fact, if I don’t watch the cars and wait until a safe time to cross, I can hardly expect that God will make it work out fine for me just because I want Him to!
“We need to be careful about how we do things, but we also need to trust God that He knows what’s best for us. If we do something because we know it’s the right thing to do, like apologise to a friend for a disagreement that you had, then at least we can be comfortable in knowing that we’ve done what God would expect of us. It doesn’t mean that the friend we apologise to will accept our apology, unfortunately! That is up to them.”
Jacqui thought about this. She realised that she was trying hard to respect Hannah’s discomfort about anything relating to God and felt this was the right thing to do. It didn’t mean that Hannah would recognise Jacqui’s attempt to be sensitive to her feelings and say thank you, or even decide that she wanted to know about God. That was tricky!
The young blonde decided she would make an effort to pray about her friend. It was lovely that Geordie was so receptive to the idea of church, but it would be nicer still if all three of them could go together.