“Patience Is a Virtue” – Groundhog Day Idea Starter
Why do lessons on Groundhog Day? It seems like a fairly insignificant holiday next to Christmas and Easter. Groundhog Day holds hidden opportunities to teach a very important lesson to kids born on the information highway, where everything seems to come a lot more quickly. If mature Christians could share one message with kids collectively, it might be this:
God generally makes us wait for the things in life that are really cool.
Groundhog Day is generally about waiting. How often did the little guy actually not see his shadow when we were kids? Less often than we saw a blue moon! You can use the holiday to get kids acclimated to the idea that, in spite of being able to download music, films, and books at a moment’s notice and have clothing they ordered arriving in two days, our spiritual world is often one of waiting.
Here are some messages about waiting, exemplified by God’s chosen people:
Waiting for God’s blessings is a time to dream big!
Proverbs 29:18 states that “without a vision the people perish.” Ask kids to spend time in the dead of winter to seek God’s will about special talents, sports or interests they should pursue. Explain that to follow God is to have your life come out best and most happy. Then have them pray to God to bring help about. Finally, have them picture themselves achieving success. Just like spring will eventually come, improvements will come to those who dream big and pray bigger!
Waiting is a time to gather strength.
Isaiah 40:31 says, “They that wait on the Lord will renew their strength; they will mount up on wings of Eagles.” Have kids talk to God and to each other about a problem for which they have been unable to find relief thus far. It could be a school situation of getting picked on, or a subject they can’t master. It could be a challenge with sibling rivalry or something that happens at home. Design take-home devotional schedules that encourage them to really talk to God about it during the winter months – and really listen for what God would like to say about it. They – and you – may be amazed at some of the answers they get!
In waiting for a blessing, almost everyone hits a time when they feel they may never get it.
Those last days of winter are often the most trying. We think spring has sprung, only to get that final ice storm. We’re tempted to take our spring clothes back to the attic after they sat around for a couple weeks. It’s like that in life when kids are waiting for that new house to be built or that new baby brother or sister to be born. The expression “watched water never boils” probably got its start just after some groundhog saw his shadow. Explain to kids that when they hit the “sighing phase,” along with the thought that maybe their blessing will never happen…that’s often a sign that the answer to a prayer is right around the corner!
The bigger the dream, the more patience is needed.
Hearing about some of the biggest recorded dreams in history may help kids understand patience – and the tales are right in the Bible. Tell them about…
God told Abraham he would be the father of a great nation.
Abraham believed in faith…yet had no idea he would be ninety before his son Isaac, the seed of the nation of Israel, would be born. Yet he, his wife Sarah, and their son Isaac enjoyed such a great family unit that when Sarah died at 127, Isaac was so grieved that only the introduction to his wife Rebekah could bring him out of it.
It’s likely that Moses’ real mother started to tell him that he was born to be special at their first meetings. He may have been a teen or a young man. He had no idea that he would murder an Egyptian, go into hiding in the desert, and not see the burning bush until he was 80! Yet
Moses parted the Red Sea, had special private sessions with God, wrote out the Ten Commandments and the first books of the Bible, before dying at the ripe age of 120! He got to appear with Jesus and Elijah at the Transfiguration and is still the most revered of all prophets some 3,500 years later!
After killing Goliath, David probably supposed he was a shoo-in to be King Saul’s right hand man, and from there he might move easily to the throne. He had no idea that Saul would actually try to kill him and he would spend nearly 15 years fleeing across the desert and hiding in caves.
God delivered David in his good time, and David not only reigned for decades, but he is remembered by all of Christian and Jewish civilization some three thousand years later!
All Twelve Disciples
It is likely that all the disciples were convinced, when they first followed Jesus, that he was indeed the Messiah. However, they thought he would ascend the throne of Israel and they would be his right hand guys! When they asked Jesus about their own future, he refused to tell them…He knew the best plan is to take it one day at a time when, to establish his kingdom, eleven of them would be martyred. But they were promised eternity beside their Lord, which they have been enjoying for the past 2,000 years!
Groundhog Day is a time to celebrate…to create great dreams for our lives with God’s help, put plans into action, and learn through patience that God always delivers on his promises!
Groundhog Day Scriptures
Here are some scriptures that would work for Groundhog Day that talk about shadowy times, God’s light, and needing patience to receive God’s blessings:
THE “©PEOPLE”© WALKING “©IN “©DARKNESS”© HAVE “©SEEN “©A “©GREAT “©LIGHT; “©ON “©THOSE”© LIVING “©IN “©THE “©LAND”© OF “©THE”© SHADOW”© OF”© DEATH”© A “©LIGHT “©HAS “©DAWNED.
“ARISE, “©SHINE, “©FOR “©YOUR “©LIGHT “©HAS “©COME, “©AND “©THE “©GLORY”© OF “©THE”© LORD “©RISES “©UP ON”© YOU.”
WEEPING”© MAY”© LAST “©THROUGH “©THE “©NIGHT, “©BUT “©JOY “©COMES “©WITH “©THE “©MORNING.
I “©WAITED “©PATIENTLY “©FOR “©THE”© LORD; “©HE “©TURNED”© TO “©ME “©AND “©HEARD “©MY “©CRY.
BUT “©THOSE “©WHO “©WAIT “©ON “©THE”© LORD “©SHALL “©RENEW”© THEIR “©STRENGTH; THEY “©SHALL “©MOUNT “©UP “©WITH “©WINGS “©LIKE”© EAGLES, THEY “©SHALL “©RUN “©AND “©NOT”© BE”© WEARY, THEY “©SHALL “©WALK “©AND “©NOT “©FAINT.
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