A Castle or a Cage

Source : http://www.cbhministries.org/ForKids/KeysforKids/ReadListen.aspx?ID=9239...

"This is gonna be cool!" exclaimed Brad as he worked on the carton in which their new refrigerator had arrived. He cut out a door and window, then threw in an old rug and climbed inside. His little brother Joey scooted in, too.

When Mom heard Joey crying a little later, she went to investigate. "Mommy!" Joey sobbed. "Brad won't let me play in his castle anymore!"

"He messes up the rug," complained Brad. "Besides, it's too small for two of us."

"Why don't you play with your new truck for a while, Joey?" Mom suggested, and Joey agreed. "Okay, Brad," said Mom, "you can enjoy your castle alone for a bit, but then I want you to let Joey share the fun with you."

Things were peaceful for a while, but then Mom heard Joey crying again. She went to check and found him crouching inside the big box in Brad's room, peering out the window. "Brad won't let me out of the cage!" Joey sobbed.

"Brad!" scolded Mom. "Take that chair away from the door and let your brother out." Brad sheepishly moved the chair, and Joey scrambled out quickly. "What were you thinking, Brad?" asked Mom sternly.

"He kept trying to get in, so I thought if I made him stay in there for a while, he'd get tired of it," explained Brad. "It worked, too." Brad looked at Joey and grinned. "First Joey cried to get into my castle," Brad added, "but when I turned my castle into a cage, he couldn't wait to get out!"

Joey scowled. "Brad said I was a monkey in a cage," he protested. "I don't wanna be a monkey."

As Mom hugged Joey, she couldn't keep from smiling a little, too. "It's still the same box, but Joey didn't see it as the same," she said. Looking thoughtfully at the castle-turned-cage, she added, "You know, that's a little like the way people view the will of God."

"It is?" asked Brad. "What do you mean?"

"Some people see God's will as a cage. They think if they do what He wants them to do, it will keep them from being happy because they won't get to do what they want to do," explained Mom. "But those who know the Lord well see His will more like a castle--a place of true happiness--and they want to obey Him. They know His will is the best place to be."

"I get it!" said Brad. "I'll try to remember that it's like a castle, not a cage."

How About You?
Do you really want to do God's will? Do you enjoy serving Him? Or do you do your chores, work in the nursery, sing in the choir, or witness to your friends halfheartedly, out of duty or habit? The place God wants you to serve Him may seem like a castle or a cage, depending on how you look at it. It's the only place where you can find lasting happiness.

Today's Key Verse:
I delight to do Your will, O my God.
(Psalm 40:8)

Today's Key Thought:
Find happiness in God's will