Today is the 14th installment of 30 days of resources for your family to use to grow together. Each of our daily activities will have the following pieces:
- PLAY TOGETHER: An opportunity to have fun and do something together instead of watching Netflix.
- TALK TOGETHER: Around the dinner table or just two of you sitting on the back porch, take turns asking these questions to learn more about the other.
- ORIENT TOGETHER: In time of need we have an opportunity to renew our vision for Jesus, and pray for His work in our life and world.
We hope these resources are helpful to you as a family. Feel free to share with others as well!
Play games outside – Some ideas:
TAG! Whether it’s old school tag, freeze tag, TV tag, or toilet tag, etc. Or, have any games in the garage that you usually take to the lake or the beach? Now’s a great time to break them out of storage. Bocce, croquet, spikeball, ladderball, corn hole, horseshoes, etc. Go outside and play!
- What makes you sad? (Activities, possessions, experiences, etc.)
- What do you do when you’re sad?
- When was the last time you cried? What made you cry?
Read Psalm 88
Pretty depressing, huh? Did you know that the book of Psalms is commonly known as the book of Songs? There are 150 different songs in this book where God teaches us how to pray, praise, and process our emotions. Out of the 150 psalms, 105 of them have some form of lament, or a passionate expression of grief or sorrow. That means that approximately 70 percent of the entire book consists of sad songs! I think we can learn at least two things from this psalm.
1. Sadness is part of the normal rhythm of life. The very fact that various psalmists express discouragement, frustration, depression and the like means that there is nothing abnormal when we find ourselves in seasons of sadnesses; explained or not. Our culture, and even our churches, often recoil at the feeling of sadness. We do whatever we can to avoid it. Solutions range from Netflix to narcotics, dancing to drinking, shopping to substance abuse. But sadness should not be avoided, it is part of life. In fact, it is a reminder that our world is broken because of sin and this is not the way it is supposed to be. I cannot help but think about what Isaiah prophesies about Jesus in verse 3 of the 53rd chapter of his letter:
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
How do you feel in your sadness knowing that the maker of all things also experienced intense grief?
2. Sometimes there is no resolution to our sadness. It is hard to believe it, but sometimes the bad guys win. In most of the psalms of lament there is typically some sort of resolution or assurance that God will make everything good. Not here. We are not left with hope or, “chin up! It will get better.” And sometimes life really does feel like that. We have no idea if God is really for us or if He even still cares about us. In this psalm, you can almost feel the weight of darkness this man must have been going through. Yet, even in this psalm we can find hope. The experience this psalmist had points to a much darker experience that Jesus faced for you and I. On the cross, darkness fell over the land when it should have been day, a darkness that could be felt. The impossible happened: the Father turned His face away from the Son. The face that Jesus always had access to now was turned away with no glimpse of light. Jesus was completely forsaken by the Father and cast into the darkest darkness so that when we find ourselves in dark sadness, we have a friend. Brothers and sisters, Jesus knows your pain, He knows your sorrow. He does not want you to avoid it, but He wants you to trust Him as He takes you through it. How can we be so sure of this? We can be sure because the grave is EMPTY! Jesus is RISEN! He has conquered sin and death. He went into utter darkness and came out the other side. And He can do the same for you.
Father, there is much sadness in this life. We confess that sometimes we wonder if You really see all of the hurt and brokenness in this life. We pray that You would remember Your steadfast love and abundant mercy and meet us where we are. We do not understand why You choose to do certain things, but because of the empty tomb, we trust You.
Today’s Family Resource for Growing Together is written by Adam Davenport, a speaker and business consultant in Raleigh, NC.