The Narrow Path is a story of two ants, Daniel and Noah, who know God and follow His leading and encouragement through the hard times by help of some animals in the forest in order to reach the New Jerusalem.
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Summer was finally here, and Ant Hill was a very busy place. In Ant Hill, there were more busy little ants running around than you could ever count! And they were busy doing lots of different things. Some spent every day just looking for and eating their favorite foods (like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches). Others always went to the pond, where they would swim and play all day. Other ants were busy, but did not play very much. These ants spent all of their time working very hard to make Ant Hill look bigger and prettier for all of the animals who walked by. Everything seemed so wonderful, and the ants of Ant Hill thought that the fun times of summer were never going to end.
But something very sad was also happening in Ant Hill. Most of the ants were so busy doing whatever they wanted, that they kept forgetting to pray. And many of them were no longer listening to Jesus’ voice. This was not good. Why? Because the hard time of winter was coming to Ant Hill very soon, and most of the ants were not ready.
However, there were still two little ants in Ant Hill who lived differently than the other ants. Their names were Daniel and Noah, and they were best friends. Now, Daniel and Noah loved peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, too. They were ants, of course! And ants love peanut butter and jelly. But Daniel and Noah did not spend all of their time eating and playing. They also spent a lot of time praying and listening to Jesus’ voice.
One day, Daniel and Noah went for a walk. They and some other ants had heard about a big peanut butter and jelly sandwich that had fallen out of a picnic basket somewhere near Ant Hill. About one hundred ants were walking to the sandwich with Daniel and Noah. And Daniel and Noah had their backpacks with them. As they walked, suddenly all of the ants heard an owl start to screech with a very loud voice. The ants looked up and saw a big owl in a tree. Most of the ants just kept walking. They thought the owl was just making noise. But Daniel and Noah heard something that the other ants were not hearing. They had learned to hear Jesus’ voice, and they heard Jesus speaking through the owl. They stopped walking and listened to what the owl was saying.
“Whoooo…whoooo…whoooo will take the Narrow Path?” asked the owl. “The hard time of winter is coming. Yes, winter is coming, and whooo will take the Narrow Path to the New Jerusalem?”
“What is the Narrow Path, and what is the New Jerusalem?” asked Daniel curiously.
“The New Jerusalem is the most beautiful city in the whole, wide world. In the New Jerusalem, there are joyful angels flying around everywhere. The New Jerusalem is full of the most beautiful colors and music you could ever imagine. Everyone there is so happy. And all of your favorite foods are there, too. What are your favorite foods, little ants?”
“Chocolate!” shouted Daniel.
“Strawberries!” exclaimed Noah.
Then, together in one voice, Daniel and Noah shouted, “Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!”
“You know what,” the owl said with a smile, “in the New Jerusalem, there are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches taller than Ant Hill. “And,” he continued slowly, “in the New Jerusalem, there are even strawberries bigger…than…an elephant’s…head.”
Daniel and Noah stared at the owl with their mouths opened wide and watering.
“But,” the owl said, “the most wonderful thing about the New Jerusalem is this: Jesus lives there. He is more beautiful than anything else in the whole world. He has so much love coming out of him, that you always feel like you are wrapped up tight in a warm love-blanket. He is always so happy and joyful, and his face shines brighter than the sun. All you ever want to do is to be with him. It is amazing.”
Daniel and Noah began to jump up and down. They were very excited about this news because every day they prayed to Jesus and listened to his voice. He always spoke to them about how much he loved them and wanted them to be with him. They loved him so much and couldn’t wait to see him.
“How do we get to the New Jerusalem?” Noah asked the owl.
The owl got a very serious look on her face. “There are many roads that go to very bad places. But there is only one road that goes to the New Jerusalem where Jesus lives—the Narrow Path. If you want to get to the New Jerusalem, you must always stay on the Narrow Path and never get off of it. You can’t do this by yourself. But Jesus will help you to stay on the Narrow Path if you ask him. He will help you stay on it even when the hard time of winter comes and everything gets very cold. And while you are on the Narrow Path, Jesus will also send some of his servants to show you how to always stay on it.”
“Where does the Narrow Path start?” Daniel asked.
“When you stopped at this tree to listen to me,” said the owl, “you made a wise choice. This is the place where the Narrow Path begins.”
The owl then pointed with her beak to a little path next to the tree. It was not a very fancy path. And it was not very wide at all, but was a very skinny road. You might miss it if you weren’t looking for it or listening to Jesus’ voice. The two little ants waved goodbye to the owl, and started to walk down the Narrow Path.
As the two little ants were walking on the Narrow Path with their backpacks, they came to a beautiful horse standing next to the road. The horse greeted them with a big neigh, and then said, “Hello, little ants! I see that you have chosen to take the Narrow Path. That is a very wise choice. I’m going to tell you something very important that will always help you stay on the Narrow Path.”
“What is it?” Daniel and Noah asked.
“Love,” replied the horse. “You always need to love God with all of your heart, with all of your mind, with all of your soul, and with all of your strength. But that’s not all. You must also love other people the way Jesus loves people. If you do this, you’ll always stay on the Narrow Path. If you love Jesus, you will obey his commands.”
“Wow,” said Daniel, “that sounds really, really hard.”
“Jesus will give you help if you ask him, little ants,” the horse replied. “He will show you how to love God and others well, the way he does. And he will help you to obey him if you ask him to.”
Then the horse suddenly twitched her ears, and down floated two little stickers.
“I want to give both of you a “love” sticker as a gift. Keep these stickers with you always and look at them every day. They will remind you that love and obedience keeps you on the Narrow Path.”
Daniel and Noah each had a piece of paper in their backpacks. They took the paper out and stuck on their “love” stickers.
“Thank you, horse!” they said, as they started walking down the Narrow Path again.
“Good bye my friends,” the horse said smiling. “See you in the New Jerusalem!”
The two little ants kept walking until they came to two large and very beautiful eagles. The two eagles called to Daniel and Noah.
“Hello little ants!” they said. “We eagles can see very far away. When we fly up high in the sky, we can see where every road goes. We know that there are many roads that lead to very bad places. We also know that there is only one road that leads to a good place. Great job, Daniel and Noah! You’ve chosen the Narrow Path that leads to the New Jerusalem! This is the path of life! Those who take the Narrow Path will never die!”
Noah began to feel sad. He remembered when his grandma died. His grandma loved him so much, and always used to give him lots of hugs and kisses. She always made his favorite desserts. And she is the one who taught him how to pray and always listen to Jesus’ voice. He missed her so much. He was sad that she had died, and he wanted to see her again.
The eagles knew what Noah was thinking and feeling.
“Don’t be sad, dear little ant,” one of the eagles said. “Even though you don’t see your grandma now, you are going to see her again. Jesus died on the cross so that peoples’ sins could be forgiven, and then God raised him from the dead and gave him a brand new body. Your grandma chose the Narrow Path when she asked Jesus to forgive her of her sins. And she stayed on the Narrow Path all of her life. So, when Jesus comes back, he is going to raise your grandma from the dead, just like he was raised from the dead! He is going to give her a brand new body! And she is going to shine like Jesus shines forever in the New Jerusalem!”
Noah smiled with a very big smile and felt very happy when he heard this news.
“But that’s not all,” the other eagle said. “Noah and Daniel, if you stay on the Narrow Path all the way to the New Jerusalem, and if you don’t give up when the cold time of winter comes, Jesus will raise you from the dead too when he comes back! He will give you brand new bodies that shine bright, bright, bright…and you will be with Jesus forever!”
Daniel and Noah began to dance, and laugh, and jump in a circle. They started to sing, “We’re never gonna die! We’re never gonna die! We’re never gonna die! Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.”
Then, both of the eagles lifted their wings high. Both eagles had some stickers under their wings. When they lifted their wings, the stickers fell to the ground. One eagle had “faith” stickers, and the other eagle had “hope” stickers.
“Take these “faith” and “hope” stickers,” the eagles said, “and keep them with you wherever you go. Even during the hard time of winter that is coming, never ever stop having faith and hope. Even though you have to wait…wait…and wait…always remember what Jesus promised to do when he comes back. Though you don’t see it with your eyes yet, you will see it in the future. That’s what faith is: to really, really believe that Jesus will raise his people from the dead when he comes back. And this is your hope: that Jesus will make death go away forever. No one will ever die anymore. And Jesus will make all the wrong things right.”
Daniel and Noah took the “faith” and “hope” stickers and put them on their papers. They had new strength to stay on the Narrow Path. They waved goodbye to the eagles and started walking again.
The two little ants walked a long time down the Narrow Path. They got thirsty, and wanted a drink of water. They prayed, “Jesus, we’re really thirsty. Where can we get a drink of water?”
Just as they finished praying, they came around a corner on the Narrow Path and saw something very big and very gray.
“What is that?” Daniel asked.
“I think it is a big mountain,” Noah said.
Suddenly the two ants heard a loud voice.
“Hello down there, little ants! I’m not a mountain, I’m an elephant! Don’t be afraid. Jesus sent me to give you a big drink of water. He always provides for those who choose the Narrow Path. I have some water for you here in my trunk.”
“Oh thank you, thank you, thank you Jesus!” Noah and Daniel shouted. “We were so thirsty!” They reached into their backpacks and took out two cups and held them in front of the elephant.
The elephant lowered her trunk and sprayed some very tasty water into their cups. The ants drank and were not thirsty anymore.
Then the elephant said, “Little ants, you have just done two things that will help you stay on the Narrow Path all the way to the New Jerusalem.”
“What did we do?” Daniel and Noah asked.
“You prayed, and you had thankful hearts. While you are on the Narrow Path, you must always pray, pray, pray, and pray. You must never, ever stop praying. And even when the hard time of winter comes, you must always thank Jesus for everything. If you do these things, you’ll always stay on the Narrow Path.”
Then the elephant reached behind her ear with her trunk and pulled out two stickers. Both stickers had two words on them: “prayer” and “thanksgiving.” She gave the stickers to the two little ants, and they put the stickers on their papers.
“These stickers will remind you to always pray and to always be thankful. Farewell, my friends. We will drink much water together in the New Jerusalem! And we can drink hot chocolate together there too!”
“Good bye, elephant!” Daniel and Noah said as they continued on their way. They were very excited about getting to drink hot chocolate with the elephant in the New Jerusalem.
Daniel and Noah kept walking until they came to a tall giraffe. The giraffe lowered her long neck down to the ground. Her nose almost touched the ants. She was careful not to breathe too hard. She didn’t want the little ants to blow away!
“Hello little ants!” the giraffe said happily. “I see that you’ve chosen the Narrow Path. That is a very wise choice. I can lift my head high above the trees and see things far away. I tell you the truth: I see where all the different roads go. There is only one road that goes to a good place. That’s the Narrow Path that leads to the New Jerusalem. All of the other roads lead to very bad places, even though they look nice when you first get on them.”
“You mean the other roads look nice on the outside, even though they lead to bad places?” Daniel asked.
“That’s right,” replied the giraffe. “You see, there is a very sly snake who does not like little ants. That snake spends all of his time trying to get little ants off the Narrow Path. He does not obey God. He tells a lot of lies and tries to play tricks on those trying to get to the New Jerusalem. He tries to make the other roads look nice and pretty on the outside, so that little ants will want to take those bad roads. But those roads go to very bad places. You must never listen to that snake or take those other roads.”
Daniel and Noah felt a little afraid and the giraffe saw this.
“Little ants, don’t ever be afraid of that snake,” the giraffe said. “Jesus is much stronger than him. But you must never stop praying. You must always ask Jesus to give you a deep, deep love for the truth. Jesus alone is the truth, and his way alone is the truth. Always love him and stay close to him. Then you will stay on the Narrow Path all the way to the New Jerusalem. He will fight the snake for you. I’m giving you both a “truth” sticker to remind you to always listen to Jesus and to never listen to the lies of the snake.”
The giraffe gave Daniel and Noah their stickers.
“Thank you, giraffe,” the two little ants said with a very serious voice. Then they prayed, “Jesus, help us to always hear your truth and never listen to the lies of the snake.”
The two little ants kept walking…and walking…and walking. They were starting to get really tired.
“Wow,” said Noah, “I’m really tired. Staying on the Narrow Path is much harder than I thought it would be!”
“I know,” Daniel replied. “Are we ever going to get there?”
Just then, a turtle walked up to them.
“Hello, little ants,” said the turtle. “I see that you are on the Narrow Path. This is a very wise choice. I also see that you are tired. Jesus sent me to encourage you.”
“Yes, we are tired,” Noah said. “We’ve been walking on the Narrow Path for a long time, and we still haven’t gotten to the New Jerusalem yet. Sometimes I wonder if we’re ever going to make it! And it seems to be getting colder and colder. Winter is coming.”
“I know, little ants, I know,” the turtle replied gently. “Sometimes waiting can become very hard, especially when we are waiting for something that we really, really want. But Jesus wants you to know that if you ask him, he will give you perseverance.”
“Perse-what?” Daniel said with a confused face. “That is a very big word. What does it mean?”
“It means that you never, ever give up, even when the New Jerusalem seems like it is still far away. It means that you hold on to Jesus not just during the good times, but even during the hard times. When you still hold on to Jesus and love him even during the hard times, this shows Jesus your love for him is real. The hard time of winter is getting ready to come to the forest. It is easy to love Jesus during the easy times. But little ants, will you still love him even during the hard time that is coming?”
Daniel felt a prayer come into his heart. Then he prayed in a loud voice, “Jesus, I want to love you not just in good times, but even in the hard times! But I cannot do this on my own. I need your help!”
When Daniel prayed this, the turtle smiled and breathed on Daniel and Noah. When he breathed on them, they felt strength come into them. They weren’t tired anymore. They were now ready to persevere and not give up. They were ready to keep walking on the Narrow Path.
“Well done, little ants,” the turtle said. “This breath is from Jesus. If you call to him, he will give you perseverance. Take these two perseverance stickers. They will remind you to never give up on Jesus, even during the hard time that is coming.”
Daniel and Noah took the stickers and added them to the others on their papers. They were very happy that Jesus had sent the turtle to them to encourage them. They were now determined to stay on the Narrow Path no matter how hard it might get during the hard time of winter.
The two little ants walked down the Narrow Path some more. As they walked, suddenly they heard the loud roar of a lion.
“Roar! Roar!” roared the lion.
Daniel and Noah felt afraid when they heard the lion roaring. They were shaking a little bit too. Then they saw the lion walking up to them and felt even more afraid.
“Don’t be afraid, little ants,” the lion said in gentle voice. “I’m not going to eat you. I love you. Jesus sent me to you to tell you something very important. Do you know why I’m roaring?”
Still a little afraid, Noah asked, “wh..wh…why are you roaring?”
“I’m roaring about Jesus coming back. People need to hear the good news about Jesus before it is too late. He is coming very soon. He is going to set up his kingdom on the earth. He is going to make all of the bad things in the world go away forever. And he is going to fill the whole world with his love, truth, and only good things.”
“That sounds wonderful!” the ants shouted.
“Well, it will be wonderful for those who stay on the Narrow Path. I need to warn you little ants about something.”
“What is it?” Daniel asked curiously.
With a very serious look on his face, the lion said, “During the hard time of winter that is coming, there will be a man who says that he is the true king. But he will be lying. This false king will follow the lies of the snake. He will try to get all of the little ants in the whole world off of the Narrow Path. But he will not be the true king. You must not follow him, because Jesus is the only true king. When Jesus comes back, he will raise his people from the dead and let them be kings and queens in his kingdom forever. But he will punish the lying king. You must not follow the lying king. Little ants, there is not much time left. Jesus wants his little ants to roar without ever being afraid. Some ants will try to stop you from talking about Jesus. But you must not be afraid of them. You must tell the whole world about Jesus’ kingdom. You must warn them about the lying king who will come during the hard time of winter.”
“How long will the lying king tell his lies?” the little ants asked. “How long will the cold winter last?”
“It will be for three-and-a-half years,” the lion answered, “and that time will be here very soon. Then Jesus will come to rescue every single one of his ants—his dear, precious little ants. Now go! Take these boldness stickers! Tell the world about Jesus! Tell them to hold on to the end of the three-and-a-half years, and to never believe the lying king!”
The lion gave Daniel and Noah the two “boldness” stickers, and they put them on their papers.
“Jesus is with you, my friends, to the very end,” the lion said. “Farewell. Onward to the New Jerusalem!”
The two little ants felt a new courage in their hearts. As they walked, they asked Jesus to help them tell the whole world about him. Their love for Jesus was growing more and more as they walked.
Finally, the hard time of winter was coming to a close. Daniel, Noah, and all of the other little ants with them came to a hill. They knew that they were getting close to the New Jerusalem because they started to hear the most beautiful singing they had ever heard. They also smelled the most wonderful smelling foods: hot pies, cakes, and lots of strawberries. They all started to get very excited as they climbed to the top of the hill.
When they reached the top, they saw it: the most beautiful city any of them had ever seen! There were angels flying around, playing, and singing everywhere. Beautiful colors and light were coming from the city. Every kind of animal that had chosen the Narrow Path was also there. As the ants stared at the beautiful city, they began to feel love coming from the city like a river. It wrapped around them tight, like a blanket. The ants walked up to the gates of the city, where two big angels were standing. The angels looked down at all of the little ants and smiled.
“Welcome to the New Jerusalem, friends!” they said with joy. “Jesus has been waiting for you a long time. He is very excited to see you!”
The angels opened the gates, and all of the ants walked in. The first thing that Daniel and Noah saw were the biggest peanut butter and jelly sandwiches they had ever seen. Next to the sandwiches were huge strawberries, bigger than an elephant’s head.
“The owl was right!” Daniel said excitedly.
“Yes, I was,” said a voice behind Daniel and Noah.
Daniel and Noah turned around to see who was talking to them. When they turned, they saw the owl, the horse, the eagles, the elephant, the giraffe, the turtle, and the lion. All of them were clapping for Daniel and Noah and shouting, “Well done little ants! You made it! Great job!”
Daniel and Noah felt so happy that they started to dance. All of the animals and angels began to dance with them. After they had danced for a while, suddenly everything became very quiet.
“What is happening?” Daniel and Noah asked the horse.
“Jesus is here,” the horse said, “and he wants to see you two.”
As soon as the horse said this, Daniel and Noah looked up and saw Jesus. He was more beautiful than anything they had ever imagined. And his smile was so big! Light and love were coming from him. He face was brighter than the sun. Jesus lowered his hand to the ground. They were amazed at Jesus, and kept staring at him.
“Come here, my friends,” he said.
Daniel and Noah crawled up onto Jesus’ hand. As they crawled, they noticed something different about themselves. They were shining too, like Jesus! After they had crawled onto his hand, Jesus lifted his hand close to his face and began to talk to Daniel and Noah.
“Daniel and Noah, welcome to my kingdom, welcome to the New Jerusalem. I’ve been waiting to see you for such a long time, and my heart is so happy to be with you now. Well done, little ants! You did not give up even during the hard, cold time of winter. You did not follow the snake and the lying king. I’m so, so proud of you. You are shining because I have given you brand new bodies that will never die.”
Then Jesus lifted his other hand and whispered to Noah, “There is someone who wants to see you.”
Noah looked to Jesus’ other hand, and there was his grandma! She had a brand new body! And she was shining too! Noah ran and jumped to the other hand and gave his grandma a great big hug. They hugged for a long time.
Then Jesus shouted to everyone in a loud voice, “My little ants did not give up! They never left the Narrow Path! Now they will never die! We will be together forever! Let’s dance and sing everyone!”
As soon as Jesus said this, everyone in the New Jerusalem began to sing, dance, and shout for joy. And they kept singing, and dancing, and singing, and dancing…they sang and danced so much that it would take many books to talk about how happy they were and how much they sang and danced.”
Children, these promises are not just for little ants. They are for you, too. Even though you feel little sometimes, like ants, remember that Jesus will help you just like he helped them. Always pray and ask him for help, and he will help you to always stay on the Narrow Path. A very hard time is getting ready to come to the whole world. Don’t ever give up! Hold on tight to Jesus no matter how hard it gets! And you too will shine forever with a brand new body in the New Jerusalem!
Tim is founder of the Daniel Training Network. His passion is to see followers of Christ embrace a life of the cross. He, his wife Emily, and their four children itinerate regularly as part of their ministry, and are presently living in New Mexico.