Know: Some of God’s people experience life-altering circumstances.
Think: I rest assured that God loves me and watches over me when my life does not go as I planned.
Do: Follow biblical guidelines and examples for how to deal with life-altering circumstances.
READ: LISTEN TO GOD
Read Matthew 3:1-17; Matthew 14:1-10; Matthew 11:1-19. What do you do, or what will you do, when life throws you a curve ball? None of us are assured that life will simply go smoothly for us. We must prepare ourselves to deal with the challenges and obstacles that might come our way. We must also prepare ourselves to help friends, family, and others in the church who are pitched a curveball in life.
PRAY: TALK TO GOD
Dream big, but understand that God may have different plans. Pray with your family and thank God for the passions and desires that He has placed in your hearts. Pray that you and your family will allow God to use those passions for His glory.
DO: WALK WITH GOD
OPTION 1: God has placed passions and dreams inside all of us. Sometimes, we get ahead of ourselves and makes big plans for our lives. As Christians, we are to surrender those passions and dreams to God and allow Him to use them for His glory and in the way He sees best. Have your child draw a picture or write a story about some of her dreams. Remind her that God wants her to dream big, but He also wants her to give those dreams to Him. That way when her dreams turn out differently than expected she can rest in the peace that God is in control and He cares for her.
OPTION 2: It is easy to follow God when all is going well, when one has good health, plenty of wealth, and his or her family is doing well. It becomes a bit harder when life throws one a curve ball. Curveballs in life can include:
• A special needs child
• A spouse with a debilitating injury or illness
• Loss of one’s job
• Loss of one’s retirement
• A terminal illness
• The death of a spouse
• The death of a child
Today your child learned Paul went to stay with the island chief. Paul learned the chief’s father was very sick. Paul prayed for the man, and he was healed. Paul also healed many other island people. After three months, Paul and the others from the ship continued on to Rome. God was with Paul and God Is With Us All the Time.
Today your student learned God is the great Recycler by studying the example of a young orphan named Esther. Esther had to make the difficult choice to stand up to the king and persuade him to change a life-altering ruling against God’s people, including herself. God used Esther’s precarious situation and brought good from it. Your student was reminded God is able to use any of us for His glory.
Life sometimes throws a curve ball. Things take an unexpected turn, disrupting our plans. Ask your middle school or high school student about an event that changed the future for him or her. Did it seem more or less drastic when it first happened? How has time put it in perspective? What good things came because of it? Ruth’s story (in the Old Testament book of Ruth) also had several negative incidents that brought changes to her life. You can read the entire little book in about 20 minutes. Why not read it together and talk about the way God orchestrated events to protect Ruth, the widowed immigrant? Look for her name in an important genealogy (Matthew 1:5) and reflect on the way God used difficulty to bring good things to Ruth’s life.