The Sketchbook

Author: Cindy Lee — Host: Andrew StevensPosted on: September 20, 2021

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
The Sketchbook

“Wish I could join in,” Juan thought bitterly, nursing his sore ankle while his friends played soccer in the park. “Everyone’s changing. Cole has left church, and Tre constantly demands his own way.” Loneliness crept inside Juan as he held on to his brand-new sketchbook. “Lord, help me,” he prayed. “I don’t fit in anymore.” A gust of wind blew open the sketchbook, and a drawing of Cole appeared with a message: “Personal tragedy last summer. He’s not sure anymore if God is good. He’s struggling, but he’s afraid to open up because of his broken heart.” Juan rubbed his eyes and stared. Within seconds, the drawing disappeared. He glanced at his friends, who were still absorbed in the game. A memory of Cole arriving at school after summer break flashed in his mind, how Cole quickly earned the reputation of class joker. How could Juan have guessed Cole was hiding pain? Then, Tre’s picture appeared on the page with the following words: “Oldest son from a large family. He has to sacrifice a lot for his younger brothers. Sometimes he feels neglected. He has a loving and generous heart.” Juan dreaded what would be revealed about him. The pages rustled. A sketch of Juan sitting alone in the park appeared with the words: “My loved and valuable son, I care about you deeply. I also care about your friends. You all need me. Let me be the judge. Look at the cross and remember how I took the judgment for each of you. Let me teach you how to love.” Juan put his hands on his head and prayed. “Lord, I’m sorry,” he prayed. “I judged them so harshly. I didn’t know they had hidden problems. I can only imagine how hard it would be to have a terrible tragedy or such a huge amount of responsibility.” “Won’t be long, Juan,” his friends shouted. “Once we finish this game, let’s all grab something to eat.” Waving back, Juan knew what he wanted to do. “Yes, Lord,” he prayed, “I want to love my friends instead of judging them. Help me follow you.” • Cindy Lee • Do you struggle with judging others? It’s easy to fall into, especially when we feel left out. But only God knows a person’s heart. How does knowing Jesus help us love instead of judge? • Have you been judged or treated unfairly? Jesus understands you deeply and offers hope by His saving grace and mercy. You can take your concerns to Him, remembering His tender love for you. Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13b (CSB)


Read Verses:

Matthew 7:1-5; John 15:9-12; Romans 14:9-13; James 4:11-12