Free Psalm 23 Toddler - Week 11

I Won't Be Scared When I'm With My Shepherd

Concepts Children Learn:

I can call out to my shepherd when I'm afraid; He's always there for me. 
My shepherd is strong enough to handle anything!
My shepherd carries me close to his heart!

Prep: Mark bible with these verses: Psalm 23:4; Isaiah 40:11. (You may already have all of the Story Pages except for 2 and 5 if you printed them for the other Psalm 23 lessons.) Print either color story pages or black & white story pages to use with the story: COLOR STORY PAGES: 1, 2 (b&w only), 3, (b&w only) 4, 5 (b&w only), 6, 7, (b&w only), 8. BLACK & WHITE STORY PAGES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Cover the story pages that you are using with clear shelf paper (optional to make sturdier).

Only read words that are not in parentheses for the lesson. The words in parentheses tell you what actions you do. The numbers in parentheses tell you what Story Page to hold up while you are telling the story.

Bible Verse: Psalm 23:4; Isaiah 40:11

INTRO: Today we're have another story about the kind shepherd and his little sheep named Marshmallow. As you know from our other stories, Marshmallow gets into trouble a lot, even though he doesn't try to. Let's listen closely to see what happens to him this week.

(1) One dreary, fall morning the shepherd decided it was time to take his sheep down to the pasture in the meadow. Winter was almost here. It would be too cold and snowy on the mountain. They would need to go down the steep path, through the valley to the meadow where it was warmer. It didn't snow in the meadow. His little sheep would be safe for the winter there. So the kind shepherd gathered all of his sheep together, and they set off down the rocky mountain path. Marshmallow was the littlest one of all the sheep. Since he had short legs, he couldn't go as fast as the other sheep. He did pretty good on long trips, as long as the land was flat. But he had trouble keeping up with the others when the path was rocky or steep. Soon they came to a really steep hill. Marshmallow stood at the top and peeked down over the edge. It seemed to go almost straight down! This hill was way too steep for such a little lamb. He was getting dizzy way up there and felt like he was going to fall. Marshmallow was afraid to move. What would he do now, he thought? He couldn't go down it. (Shake head no). It was too steep! He couldn't go around it. (Shake head no). There were bushes on both sides of the path! He would just call out for his shepherd! So that is just what he did. He sat at the top of the steep hill and called out for his shepherd. (2) His shepherd heard him right away, and saw him waiting up at the top of the hill, crying. So he quickly grabbed his staff. A staff is a long stick with a curve on the end. The shepherd often used the curved part of his staff to help little sheep who were in trouble. Since the shepherd saw that little Marshmallow was in danger of falling, he took his staff and hooked the curved part around little Marshmallow, and pulled him away from the dangerous hill. (3) Then he lifted him up on his shoulder, and carried him all the way down the steep hill. Marshmallow felt so safe and happy with his shepherd!   Finally, when they were back on flat land, his shepherd put him back down again.

Next, they came to the dark valley. The dark valley was really scary. Creepy, crawly things lived in the dark valley. Big, scary lions lived in the dark valley also. Even wolves and foxes lived there. Anything could be hiding in the dark valley! The path in the valley was hard to walk on. It was very rocky; and it was so dark that a little lamb could easily trip and fall. Marshmallow was too scared to go through the valley by himself. He needed a big strong, hand to hold onto. What would he do? He couldn't go through it. (Shake head no). He was too scared. He couldn't go around it. (Shake head no). There was no other path. He couldn't go over it. (Shake head no). This was the only way. He would just call out to his shepherd and wait. As soon as he called out, his shepherd came running. His shepherd saw him sitting there. Right away he could tell that Marshmallow was scared. He said, "Marshmallow, we have to to through the dark valley to get to the pasture in the meadow. You don't have to be afraid if you stay by me. Just hold my hand and stay right by my side. I will be right by you all the time." (4) Marshmallow trusted his shepherd, so he took his hand and stayed right by his shepherd the whole way through the dark valley. The valley sure was hard to walk through. But, each time he stumbled over a rock his shepherd helped him. There were also many slippery spots to walk through too. But when Marshmallow started to slip and slide, his shepherd was right by his side every time. He just held on tight to his shepherd's hand; and he was o.k.

Marshmallow was getting very tired. He needed to rest, so he was very glad when they had finally come to the end of the dark valley! Now he could relax. Marshmallow was so happy that he could depend on his shepherd no matter what!   His shepherd had stayed with him the whole time, just like he said. Marshmallow was so happy that he started skipping along the path and singing. He was having so much fun that he didn't see that he had gotten off on the wrong path. It was the path by the forest! Oh no! That was the dangerous path for little lambs. Tigers and bears could pounce on little lambs in the forest. When Marshmallow finally stopped and looked around, he knew he was lost. (5) Just then, a hungry bear came running out of the forest right towards him! The big bear let out a loud growl: "gr-r-r-r-r!" Marshmallow was so scared he froze in his tracks. In one swipe, the bear's giant paw came down and grabbed little Marshmallow! Now he was in the bear's paws. "Let me go!" Marshmallow yelled! His shepherd heard Marshmallow yell, and came running over. Quickly the brave shepherd swung his rod and hit the bear right in middle of his forehead! Konk! The bear fell over. Then the brave shepherd snatched little Marshmallow out of the bear's arms with his staff. "Whew! That was close! said Marshmallow, "I almost got eaten by that bear!" (3 again) The shepherd hugged little Marshmallow tight and said, "When I saw that you were missing, I came to find you. I'm glad I found you just in time!" "Yeah, it really was just in time", said Marshmallow, "That bear was hungry. Thank you for saving me," said Marshmallow. So the brave shepherd carried Marshmallow until they were all the way out of the forest. Then he put him down again when it was safe. Soon they caught up to the rest of the sheep. "When will be get to the meadow?", Marshmallow asked. "We're almost there!", the shepherd answered.

(6) After walking just a little farther, they finally got to the pasture in the meadow! The sun was shining brightly! The birds were singing! Marshmallow skipped along with his shepherd. They came to a grassy spot and sat down to rest. Marshmallow crawled up onto his shepherd's lap. He was so glad to have a big, strong shepherd. No matter how sick or weak he was, his shepherd was always there for him, and that made him feel loved and safe. As long as he stayed by his shepherd, he would be o.k. He knew that no matter scary things that he had to go through, his shepherd would be with him. He knew his brave shepherd could handle it for him. His shepherd would know just what to do. And that made him very happy! THE END.

CIRCLE TIME: (What does this mean for me?)

Does anybody remember our Bible verse for today? (Read Psalm 23:4). (7) Let's look at this picture. Marshmallow is holding his shepherd's rod and staff. (Point to the staff). This is the staff. See how it has a round part on the end? The shepherd can use this part to hook around his sheep to keep them from getting hurt. Does anybody remember what the shepherd did with the staff in the story? (Give children a chance to answer, then continue). Yes, the shepherd hooked the staff around Marshmallow to pull him away from the steep hill when he was going to fall. He also used it to pull Marshmallow away from the bear. Now let's look at the rod. (Point to rod). Does anybody remember what the shepherd did with the rod? (Give the children a chance to answer, then continue). Yes, he protected Marshmallow by hitting the bear on the head with the rod! Marshmallow's shepherd loved him so much that he came to help him whenever Marshmallow called out to him.

These last few weeks, we've been learning how Jesus is our shepherd. He loves to help us. When we call out to him, he hears our prayer. Even though we can't see him, he is still there with us. Whenever we are tired or feel like we just can't go on we can just call for our shepherd, Jesus, and he will help us. When we feel sick or weak, he will make sure we are cared for.

(8) Another Bible verse tells us about our shepherd too: (Read Isaiah 40:11). See how the shepherd is carrying the lamb right up close to his heart? He loves his little sheep so much that he wants them very close to him. Jesus loves us like that too! He loves having us stay close to him, and he is always gentle and kind.

Marshmallow felt protected because he knew that his shepherd could handle anything! Did you know that Jesus is strong enough to help us with anything too? Just like the shepherd in the story helped Marshmallow whenever he was in trouble, Jesus comes alongside us to help us in our troubles too. He never leaves us alone to figure things out by ourselves. He loves us too much to leave us alone. He doesn't promise that we will never be sad, but he does promise to be with us when we are lost or sad, or feeling all alone. He promises to be our our friend all the time. And we can always trust his promises!

PRAYER: Allow children to take turns praying after you or a helper prays.
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