"Finally!" exclaimed Nicole when she came in for breakfast. "I was beginning to think this day would never get here. But it did, and I'm finally thirteen!"
"Happy birthday," said Cece, Nicole's little sister. "But why are you so glad to be thirteen?"
"Because now I'm a teenager, and people will think of me as grown up--or almost," Nicole replied.
Cece still didn't understand. "You mean you were just a kid last night when you were twelve, and today you're a grownup?"
Before Nicole could answer, Mom came into the room. "Nicole, your dad just called from Boston. He's having car trouble and may not be able to get home in time for your birthday party this afternoon."
"What? No! He's supposed to put together an escape room in the basement with clues for us to solve. I told all my friends about it, and they're super excited!"
"I'm sorry, Nicole," said Mom. "We may need to wait and do that another time. We can come up with some other games to play at your party today."
Nicole glowered. "Why did Dad have to go to Boston right before my birthday anyway? Everybody knows how important this day is to me, but does anybody care? No!" She seemed like she was ready to cry.
Cece looked at her big sister. "Are you being thirteen or twelve?"
"I...um..." Nicole stammered. Then she sighed. "I'm thirteen in numbers, but I guess I'm acting like a little kid. I'm sorry. I know Dad will get here if he can." She nudged her sister. "Thanks for reminding me to act my age, Cece."
"You know, the Bible says we can be an example to others no matter how old we are," Mom said. "Because our hearts have been changed by Jesus, we can encourage others to act in kind, unselfish ways. You don't have to be thirteen to do that--as Cece just showed us."
Cece smiled and turned to her sister. "Nicole, can I choose a game and play it with your friends? I want to play Pin the Tail on the Donkey!"
"Cece, I'm too old to play Pin the Tail--" Suddenly, Nicole stopped and took a deep breath. Dear Lord, she prayed, I think You're going to have to help me be thirteen.
-Ruth I. JayHOW ABOUT YOU?
Are you eager to be older? Do you think being grown up happens automatically at a certain age? It doesn’t. Growing physically and emotionally takes time, and growing spiritually takes time too. But because you know Jesus, you have the Holy Spirit living inside you, and He’s helping you grow to be more like Jesus each day. You don’t have to wait until you’re older to be a godly example to others. Start now!
TODAY'S KEY VERSE: 1 Timothy 4:12 (KJV)
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. (NIV)