presents The Boy from Brooklyn series
(a true story)
Lesson 4: Johnny Learns to Trust God
High school graduation was over! Johnny was happy to come home with his diploma. Now he could work fulltime in the library. Or was that what God wanted him to do for the rest of his life? His friend, Bob, said he should go to Bible College.
“Bible College!” thought Johnny. “What is that?” School was hard. Especially when he had to work every day after school and do homework late at night. He wasn’t sure he wanted to go to study any more.
Johnny was asking God what he should do. Maybe God was using Bob to show him. So one day he asked Bob to tell him about Bible College.
Bob got all excited. “That’s a special school where you study God’s Word. You meet lots of other young people who love God, too. I’m going to Bible College in Chicago this fall!”
In a few months, he and Walter, another friend from the neighborhood, packed their suitcases, and were off to Bible College in Walter’s old car.
Johnny didn’t know much about the Bible but all year he studied hard. Every evening he put groceries on the shelves in a supermarket to help pay his bills.
And then came summer!! Johnny worked at Camp Hope. It was a camp for children who were in wheelchairs or walked with crutches. Some boys and girls couldn’t see or hear. They came from the city to the country where they played games, went swimming, met other kids and best of all they heard about Jesus. What fun they all had!
Johnny had fun, too. He helped the boys dress and took them to the dining room. He held them so they could swim in the water. He played baseball with them pushing their wheelchairs around the bases. He talked about Jesus' love for them before they went to sleep at night, and prayed with them.
There were pony rides for the children, fun days, story hors, and swimming. It was hard work for the helpers who looked after the children. But it made Johnny happy inside to know that he was helping someone else all day long. That was more important than thinking about himself all the time.
Then one day he received a letter that made him sad. The letter said, “Johnny, you did not pass your exams at Bible College. We are sorry but you won’t be able to return next year.”
He felt as if his world was falling apart. He needed a quiet place to think and pray. Slowly he walked out into a field by himself.
“Why did this happen to me?” he thought. “Why? Why?”
He had worked hard. Like he had in high school. But just as in high school he had to work to earn money as well. He never seemed to have enough time to study.
He walked around the field, head down and shoulders bent. “What can I do now,” he thought.
When he looked up he saw one of the campers. She was out in the field, too. Fifteen year old Linda was in a wheelchair. She couldn’t walk. But she had her hands lifted up. She was looking up to the sky and she was thanking God for being so good to her.
Johnny stopped and Linda turned around and looked at him. “Why are you so sad, Uncle Johnny?” she asked. (The campers called the workers “uncle” or “aunt.”)
Johnny sat down on the ground beside the wheelchair and began to tell Linda his problems. He told her about the letter he had received from the College saying that he couldn’t go back to study in the fall.
“Uncle Johnny,” Linda said, “you just go back to that Bible School and tell those people that you are returning. God will help you with your studies. You can do it with God’s help.”
Linda had accepted the Lord Jesus as her Savior and she learned that she could trust Him to help her when life was hard.
Johnny went back to the school. Instead of doing everything on his own he learned how to ask God for His help. And God helped him in his classes. Over the next three years he earned good grades and enjoyed being with other Christian young people.
Before college was over he had paid all his bills! He sang in the choir and by his last year of school he was student body president!
God had helped Johnny when he trusted Him. He learned the verse that says,
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Have you trusted Jesus as your Savior? Are you trusting Him to help you in your life?
If you are trusting Jesus as your Savior, we would like to hear from you. If He is helping you each day please tell us about it. Or if you have any questions about the Bible or these lessons, feel free to ask us. You can use the space at the bottom of the Question Page.