Key verse: 1 Peter 5:10
Big idea: Our exile is temporary.
Driving to Laneville to church camp, you can usually make it from Alvin to Pearland before the first kid asks: "Are we there yet?" Maybe the first one is joking, but there always seem to be a few kids who think of 610 as the edge of the known universe. It is hard to explain to an 8 or 9-year-old kid how long four hours is. Is it 8 episodes of their favorite TV show? The length from breakfast to lunch? 64 times through "Let It Go"? You might put it a number of different ways to try and help them connect the time to something they understand. However you go about it, the point is simply to convince them that they will not be strapped into a vehicle watching cows go by forever. There will be an end, and the week at camp will be worth the relatively brief trip.
Right now, we live in a world of exile. We are in hostile territory, and we have to be alert! But being vigilant is exhausting. Are we destined to live in a constant struggle against the world, the flesh, and the devil forever? Peter says no, this trip is short compared to the time we will spend at the destination. We, like all of God's family, suffer for "a while" "in the world." But that suffering is replaced by "eternal glory," where He receives "glory and dominion for ever and ever." In comparison to eternity, our suffering is just a bus ride. So buckle up.
Discussion idea: One of the challenges for talking to kids about lengths of time is finding a comparable reference frame. Does that connect with our struggles in comparing our temporary suffering with the eternal hope before us?
Prayer focus: Ask God to help you to stand firm for a little while, knowing that His rest is ahead.