Have you ever been comforted by someone after a difficult time? If so, talk about the experience.
My Story and the Bible Story
We did an experiment a few years ago in Vacation Bible School with dry ice, dish detergent, water, and food coloring. We started with clear water, and then we began to talk about all the hard things that can happen in life: someone bullies you, you get in trouble at school, you get a bad grade, you lose a pet, you have to move away from your friends, your parents fight a lot, a loved one dies, your parents get a divorce, and the list goes on. As we listed each of these things, we put food coloring into our water. The water that started off so clear was suddenly dark and murky. It was filled with all of these hard things. After adding a little dish detergent, we put in a few chunks of dry ice to represent God, who comes in the midst of the hard things of life to comfort us. God is there with us and helps us through. All of a sudden, bubbles started to rise. Our container was filled and overflowing with bubbles. The water was still dark, but the bubbles were light and fluffy. It was a picture of how God comforts us. God is there with us, helping us get through. The situation may still be there. Things don’t magically change. But God comforts us and gives us peace. God did the same thing thousands and thousands of years ago for the Israelites.
Read Isaiah 40:1-11.
The Lord comforts us. Everything else may fade around us, but God’s word stands firm and forever. We can trust that God will care for us, comforting us in the midst of hard times. As we light the candle of peace this week, we remember the peace that God brings us. Jesus brought hope with him when he came to Earth, reminding everyone that the Lord had not forgotten them. He also brought peace; it doesn’t change our circumstances, but it helps us get through them. God is always with us and will give us peace.
Discussion and Prayer
1. Talk about some difficult things you have faced as a family and the ways you saw God’s presence.
2. Ask your children to talk about some hard things they have faced. Help them see how God has been there for them.
3. Read Philippians 4:4-7: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (NIV). Help your children get into the habit of asking God for peace.
4. Pray, telling God about any hard situations you are facing and asking God for peace.
Rev. Jessica Asbell is the Minister to Children and Families at First Baptist Roswell, where she has been serving since 2012. She has written the children’s curriculum for Smyth & Helwys’s Annual Bible Study for the books of Daniel; Ezekiel; Luke; Jonah; 1 Corinthians; 1, 2, 3 John and Jude; Colossians; The Story of Israel’s Ancestors: Living toward a Promise; and Where Faith & Family Meet: A Book of Weekly Devotions. She has also written for CBF’s Spark and Form and for Affect in CBF’s fellowship! magazine. Married to Jonathan Oravec, Jessica reads every chance she gets.