ELEMENTARY KIDS & FAMILIES date
Even when I take my eyes off of God’s promise, He is with me.
Inspire (for parents) It’s tricky business being a parent. It can sometimes feel like we are expected to transform from an average, normal human being into a superhero of sorts—teacher, counselor, doctor—with expert knowledge on a wide variety of subjects. I remember the first time my son was sick—really, truly, coughing, wheezing, spiking a fever sort of sick. He woke up wailing in the middle of the night, and I was hopelessly unable to soothe him. My husband was on the phone with the urgent-care nurse, repeating symptoms and asking if we should bring him in. How was I to know what to do in this type of situation? I desperately wanted to serve my son in this moment of his suffering … yet I just didn’t know what needed to be done. This was the first moment of parental panic I’d experienced. Instantly I began to doubt myself. I doubted my ability to mother and care for my child. And I doubted God’s judgment in choosing my husband and me for this enormous responsibility. As I sat in the dark, rocking my boy, and praying he would be okay, I felt God’s presence
near me, giving me peace and clarity. I knew then that there would be countless moments in this adventure of parenting when my husband and I would have no clue how to move forward. I also realized that even when I take my eyes off of God’s promise, He is with me. We can rest in the truth that God is near, and He has the power to equip us to be the parents who raise this little boy to be the man of God He desires. “But my eyes are fixed on you, O Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge” (Psalm 141:8a).
by Sarah Carter
Scripture: M r Walk on Water) (Jesus and Pete Is Near Main Point: God ur family to ned to allow yo sig de is ce ur so This re your children d’s Word before Go in e tim ve ha n is for parents Because God’s pla attend church. children’s faith, l nurturers of their to be the spiritua , your children lly u grow spiritua yo as at th ow we kn lly as well. will grow spiritua
Equip (for parents) The disciples experienced the truth that God is REM EMB “Do n near in a very dramatic way. When it came time ER v othi n ers vain g ou to say good night to the crowds after a long E t of conc s e e othe day of teaching, Jesus sent the disciples out rs be it, but in lfish am bitio tt you hum in a boat ahead of Him. This is important n or shou er than i your lity con ld lo because Jesus was the One who told His inte s s o ider res elve k no s. Ea t disciples to get into the boat and cross othe ts, but ch o also only to rs.” P f yo to the other side. As the disciples set to th hilip pian e int ur own s 2:3 sail and the crowds dispersed, Jesus eres –4 ts o f withdrew to pray. Scripture tells us that it was not until the fourth watch of the night that Jesus met the men out on the water. For sailors, the night is split into four sections or “watches.” The fourth watch is during the darkest hours. We are told the men had been fighting against wind and waves for quite some time. Judging from when Jesus sent them out and when He came to them, they had been on the sea for eight to 12 hours. When they saw Jesus walking out to meet them, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” In this culture, people believed they would see ghosts as their own death approached. But Peter didn’t think this. Instead, he said, “‘Lord, if it’s you, … tell me to come to you on the water.’ ‘Come,’ Jesus said” (Matthew 14:26, 28–29). We know the rest of the story; Peter walked out to meet Jesus, walked on the water toward Him, then took his eyes off of Jesus because he was afraid. As Peter began to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” (v. 30). Jesus, only an arm’s length away, reached out and saved him.
(for parents & kids) Just for fun, find a closet or space just big enough for your family to gather in and read together Matthew 14:22–36. Consider turning off the lights and using a flashlight to read by. Invite older kids to the read the passage out loud. Marvel together at the fact that Jesus came to the disciples at night by walking on water. Discuss together Peter’s response. Talk about how even when we can’t see Jesus, we can know His presence because His Holy Spirit is with us! After talking, pray together with your children. Ask God to find ways to remind them that He is always near. Share with them that what they just heard is a part of The Big God Story in the Bible, and they will hear more about how God is always near in church this week.
Jesus knew this experience would be one of many Peter would have in his arsenal of faith. Through this situation, Jesus served Peter by letting him know He would always be near— even in a time of seemingly great danger.
© 2011 David C. Cook. TruResources are developed in partnership with ROCKHARBOR Church and a national network of family and children’s ministry leaders. All rights reserved.