Splinks for the week of January 26 – February 1, 2020
Watch the metamorphosis from a monarch caterpillar to a butterfly:
Just as a butterfly needs to struggle to get out of its cocoon, we need to struggle to learn some important lessons. God is wise enough not to remove all trouble and suffering from our lives. There are some things we learn only by going through hard times.
If you never had any trouble, you would probably be very selfish, uncaring, and proud. Suffering breaks our hearts, make us more understanding, and humble. Even though no one likes suffering, it can actually be good for us.
Read James 1:2-4, 12
How can the hard things in life make us better? (Make us more understanding; help us have more faith; make us call out to God more; help us to get closer to God; teach us to be more patient and self-controlled; etc.)
Someday there will be a reward from God if we endure suffering. God promises a crown of life to those who endure—who don’t give up, but keep going even though it is hard.
Ask your kids to complete a job that is too hard for them. (Give them a hard puzzle to complete. Ask them to stack ten blocks without them falling down. Give them a hard math problem to complete. The activity will depend on the age and skill of each child.)
As they are doing it (and continually failing), ask:
What are you feeling? (Discouraged; mad; unhappy; want to quit; etc.)
We can easily feel discouraged and want to quit when things are hard. We can’t see how we can ever do what we need to do.
Would you like me to help you? (Work together on the puzzle. Take turns stacking the blocks. Show them how to do long division.)
We were able to do a hard job because we worked together. Just as I helped you, God wants to help us with any problems. We can have faith that God wants to and will help us.
Don’t Give Up
Read a story about Booker T. Washington to show the need to be faithful in everything we do.
Booker’s life began in poor and discouraging surroundings. He was born as a slave in a small log cabin where he lived with his mother and a brother and sister. Every day of his life was spent working. The only time he ever got near a school was to carry his master’s daughter’s books. How he longed to join them, but slaves were not allowed to go to school.
After the slaves were freed and Booker and his family settled into a small cabin in West Virginia, Booker begged his mother to get him a book. More than anything he wanted to learn to read. His mother found him an old copy of Webster’s blue-back spelling book, which contained the alphabet. He began trying to teach himself to read, but he had no teacher. No one he knew could read.
The people in the village began to talk of starting a school, but it was hard to find a teacher. A young man from Ohio came to town and he was appointed to teach their first school. Each family agreed to pay a certain amount per month and house and feed the teacher one day a week. The opening of the school was such good news to Booker, but also became his biggest disappointment. He had been working in a salt-furnace for several months and his stepfather decided that they needed his money, so he wasn’t allowed to attend. Despite this setback, he studied his blue book speller with greater diligence.
After a while, he made arrangements for the teacher to give him some lessons at night after work. Finally, he was allowed to go to school. He woke early, worked in the furnace until 9am, raced to school, and returned to work immediately after school for two more hours. Would you work that hard to go to school?
There were times when he had to quit school to work, but he kept learning. He worked hard day and night. Sometimes he would have to walk several miles at night in order to recite his lessons. He did whatever he could to get an education and even went to college. During his second year of college, he said that he learned his most valuable lesson—he learned to love to read the Bible.
Finally, all his hard work paid off. Booker T. Washington wanted to help others so he started a school, The Tuskegee Institute. He worked tirelessly to build up the school, providing all sorts of opportunities for African Americans—so much so that he was the most outstanding black leader of his day. What great honor he had when the president of the United States, William McKinley, visited his school! What started in a broken-down building, with one teacher and thirty students, became a great school to give others the opportunities Booker T. Washington never had.
What did Booker want more than anything? (To learn to read)
What are some obstacles that kept him from learning to read? (He was a slave; he couldn’t go to school; there weren’t many teachers even after they were freed; he had to work; he didn’t have much money; etc.)
What did he finally do to help other African Americans? (He started a school that gave them an education and opportunities)
What can you learn from his example?
Jesus wants each person to fight the good fight of faith serving Him and others until He returns.