I'm teaching junior church for the month of February and having a swell time of it! Psalm 48:1 was our verse for last week and every time I say it, I want to SHOUT it.
OUR GOD IS GREAT,
AND OF GREAT POWER!
The focus of our month, if you couldn't guess, is the POWER of our God. Last week we studied Jesus' power to protect us. We were in the book of Matthew looking at Peter's experience of walking on water. For an object lesson, I had the kids scour the classroom looking for one object they felt certain would float, and one they were sure would sink. Then we held a "Sink or Swim!" contest and dropped our objects in one at a time. In case you're curious, Popsicle sticks and half empty bottles of Elmer's glue float while sea shells, action figures, and paper cups that Valerie "gently" nudges do not. :o) This week past we were in the book of Luke looking at Jesus' power to provide --- our subject was the 5,000+ people Jesus miraculously fed with a young boy's lunch of 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. We "broke bread" with a knock-off version of Goldfish....errrr...whales. Bible-worthy "fish and loaves" in a convenient pre-packaged form!
While I love the creative part of preparing visuals for my kids and helping them make sense of the message of the Bible, I can't help but think that each lesson in the book is a lesson God wants to teach or remind me of, too. More often than not, the week's theme is something that hits close to home. Take last week's lesson of God's power to protect. The "Michael & Emily" story that accompanied the unit was about God shielding a family on their way home from church on icy roads. I immediately was reminded of two accidents in my own life -- two that had very different outcomes, yet God's protection was evident in each case. The first, I've written about before. It's been 2 years, 2 months, and 3 days since my parents and brother Jim were hit head-on by a drunk driver. Life will never be the same, yet the God who protects is here and was there that day. I can testify to God's power in my life because He has demonstrated it in undeniable ways. The second accident happened just this past Christmas. I was driving Dan and I to church on Christmas morning and came to a spot on the road with open field on both sides. The wind blowing over the road had polished the surface to an icy smooth finish. I hit the ice, lost control of the car, did a 360 (with my eyes shut), and we landed in the ditch. I remember crying out, "Oh God!" as we started into the spin. And He heard me! We were stuck, but safe --- and help in the form of Dad's 4-wheel drive came within 10 minutes. Sometimes I'm none too quick to submit myself to the purpose and plan God has, but ultimately, He's in control and the safest place to be is in His hand. I won't be guaranteed freedom from trials and suffering, but I have the confidence my God will protect and preserve me.
This week's lesson, no way a coincidence. I've been reviewing our annual budget for the past month and it has been a source of some frustration. I am not discontent with where we're at --- I'm grateful for all God has blessed us with --- but (I realize there shouldn't be a 'but' there, just keep reading...) am concerned financially-speaking as to how we'd ever make it on a single income if something were to happen to one of us. It would be impossible! *Enter Junior Church* "For with God, nothing shall be impossible." I kid you not. That was this week's verse to accompany the lesson. And we talked about God's power to provide. Maybe I ought to teach junior church every week, instead of every three months! :o)
I am fairly certain I could stock a library with books that solely record what God has done in my life! My God is great, and of great power -- and He demonstrates His loving provision toward me, toward each one of us, daily. All I have to do is look around me...