Items Needed: slips of paper or index cards; pencils; two small bowls (to hold the slips of paper)
Play Why? Because!
Give each person two slips of paper and a pencil. Ask them to write a question on one that starts with Why? (Why is milk white? Why do I have to go to bed at 8?) Then on the other slip, write a Because answer. (Because it’s not green; Because you turn into a monster at 9) Keep the Why questions separate from the Because answers and put them in two separate bowls. You may want to add a few extra questions and answers.
Mix up the questions in each bowl. Let one person choose a Why question and read it aloud. Then ask another person to randomly choose a Because answer and read it. (Hopefully, they will not pick one that actually answers the question.) Read all the questions and answers.
This was a silly game of questions and answers, but there are many questions that we don’t always know the answers to. There are questions we might like to ask God. God doesn’t always answer our questions, but we can know that He is wise AND good. God is in charge and He will do what is best for us when we love and obey Him (Romans 8:28).
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 and makes 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 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.
What Can I Do?
Items Needed: newspapers; markers
Pass out the newspapers and ask the children to look for and circle (with the markers) examples of people suffering. Take turns sharing a story or two about the suffering that is happening in the world around us. (If you don’t have a newspaper, look online, watch some news together, or simply share examples from your life or friends and family.)
What can we do for someone who is suffering? (Pray for him; say kind words; listen; share; etc.)
We don’t know all the reasons for suffering, but we do know God loves us (He proved it on the cross). We can show love to others when they are suffering.
Stop and pray for the people who are suffering. If time allows, make cards for someone who is going through a hard time.