Bible Reading of the Day: Read Deuteronomy 11:1, 26-28.

Verse of the Day: “Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found” (Psalm 119:35).

Katie had never lived near a pond before.

As soon as Katie and her family had moved into their new house, Mom and Dad had talked to Katie and her brothers about Blueberry Pond. “Nobody is to go to the pond without a grown-up because it can be very dangerous there,” Dad had said.

But one day, Katie’s new best friend, Sarah, said, “Let’s play at Blueberry Pond. I’ll show you where the big old turtle lives!”

“I can’t go to the pond without a grown-up,” Katie said.

“That’s dumb,” Sarah said. “We won’t go near the water at all. Are you scared?”

“No,” Katie said. Suddenly her parents’ rule seemed silly. “OK,” she said slowly, “but don’t ever tell my mom.”

Sarah showed Katie the turtle’s home. They skipped stones. Then they saw a car coming. Katie’s parents got out of the car and called, “Katie, you come here!”

Katie leaped up and walked to her parents, her heart beating wildly. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I’m sorry!”

Mom and Dad both frowned in disappointment at Katie, but after a moment they took Katie’s hand and led her to the edge of the pond.

“Katie,” Dad said, “do you know why Mom and I made the rule that you can’t come to the pond without a grown-up?”

Katie thought for a moment. “Because you don’t think I’m big enough?”

“No,” Dad answered. “We made the rule to protect you.”

“You did?”

Dad nodded. “Your mother and I love you very much, and the rules we make are for your own good. You see, when I was about your age, I disobeyed my parents and went to a pond by myself. I slipped on the muddy bank and fell in. The pond was very deep, and I didn’t know how to swim. I thought I was going to drown.”

Katie saw Dad’s lip quiver.

“Katie,” Mom said, “disobeying is serious. It almost caused your dad to drown when he was a little boy. We never want that to happen to you.”

“Me, neither,” Katie said, her eyes welling with tears. “I’m sorry I disobeyed. Rules are good, aren’t they, Daddy?”

Mom and Dad hugged Katie tightly. “Yes, they are,” Dad answered. “Especially when they’re made by someone who loves you very much.”

TO DISCUSS: Why wasn’t Katie allowed to go to the pond without a grown-up? God makes rules to protect his children too. What is one of God’s rules that you remember? How do God’s rules keep us safe?

TO PRAY: “Lord, make us walk along the path of your commands, for that is where our happiness is found.”