This Challenge teaches that God will help us get through difficult times and temptations. He never leaves us alone when we suffer. The lesson is made by sticking wooden skewers through balloons without popping them.
- 1 Corinthians 10:13
- Large balloons – 2-3 per person
- Wooden skewers – 2-3 per person
- Vegetable oil – 1 small container per group
- Duct tape – 1 roll per group
- Practice doing the exercise.
- Practice the script.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “We’re going to do an object lesson today to learn how God helps us during difficult times.”
- “Bad stuff even happens to Christians, but God will never leave you alone when you suffer.”
- “I know that because 1 Corinthians 10:13 in the Bible says, ‘No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.’” (The Message)
- “Let’s demonstrate this.”
- “Okay, let’s say that you are one of the balloons in our kit.”
- “Let’s blow it up, and tie it off.” (Help participants if they have trouble with this. Don’t blow the balloons up fully. You want there to be some thickness of the rubber at the nipple and at the place where you tied off the balloon.)
- “Now, let’s say that one of those skewers is a bad thing or a temptation that’s about to happen to you.”
- “What would happen if you put the skewer (the bad thing or temptation) through the balloon (the you)?” (Listen to responses.)
- “Right! It’s going to pop us!”
- “But I know a way that we can keep ourselves from being popped by these bad things and temptations.”
- “When you face something bad, you need the covering of the Holy Spirit.”
- “That’s God’s covering over your life, and it will protect you during bad times.”
- “In the Bible, oil often represents the anointing of God. Let’s anoint this skewer so that it can be used by God.” (Dip the skewers into the oil. Then instruct them to insert them slowly into a balloon through the tie-off area and out the very top (the nipple). These are the areas where the rubber of the balloon stretches the least, so they are more likely to receive the skewer without popping. If the balloon pops, laugh nervously and grab another balloon – kids love it when things don’t go the way an adult plans them.)
- “Look at that! God’s anointing was all it took!”
- “You see, if God allows bad stuff to happen to us, He anoints it so that it ends up doing His work in our lives. God knows where you can handle the bad stuff, just like I knew just where the balloon could handle the skewer.”
- “Now, sometimes, God allows bad stuff and temptations to happen to you, but he provides grace and strength for going through those things.”
- “Let’s pretend that this duct tape represents God’s covering of grace and strength for us.” (Have everyone blow up new balloons. Then, put pieces of duct tape across both the front and back sides of balloon. Then, have them slowly twist and poke a skewer though – dry ones, not the ones with the oil. You can repeat this several times for dramatic effect.)
- “Sometimes during tough situations, you might feel like you could just burst.”
- “But remember that God is with you during those times. Pray for His covering, and He will help you through them.”
- (When you are finished, have them answer the Debrief Questions below (also on their Challenge Cards). The Rhyme Time is to help them recognize that God can cover them during times of temptation and testing. They need to trust in Him for His protection.)
- Why didn’t the balloons pop when the skewers went through them?
- How is this like how God protects us during times of suffering?
- If you have to go through a time of suffering in the future, how will you handle it?
God is there when it’s more than we can bear!