Upper Elementary

Impossible? Not!

Lesson 13 

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Fall 2019

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By: Nance Keyes 

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November 24, 2019

Lesson Focus:

The impossible becomes possible with God.

Bible Basis:

Joshua 10:1-14

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access
  • Sheet of paper made into the impossible puzzle trick
  • Scissors

Summary & Links:

Students will think about situations that look impossible to people and will discover that what is impossible to us is possible with God.

Memory Verse:

“With God all things are possible.”
—Matthew 19:26

Step 1:

Students will think about situations that look impossible to people and will discover that what is impossible to us is possible with God.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access
  • Sheet of paper made into the impossible puzzle trick
  • Scissors

Before your students arrive, view this video in advance (DO NOT SHOW IT TO YOUR STUDENTS AT THIS TIME) and make a quick sample puzzle. Keep the solution a mystery for the students until Step 4 [2:02]:
Impossible Puzzle Trick

After your students arrive, show them the sample impossible puzzle, moving the flap back and forth and acting perplexed about the size of the flap and the size and placement of the opening. This cannot be possible! Or at least it looks like it is impossible.

In orphanages all over the world, there are impossible situations. Two-year-old Abraham was kept in an orphanage in Mexico. Not only was he blind, but his entire body was in a cast, and he suffered brain damage—this as a result of injuries from severe abuse. For this young child, any hope of a loving family and promising future seemed impossible. Hold up the puzzle and move the flap back and forth.

  • If you were in Abraham’s situation, how do you think you would feel? (Answers will vary; unloved, abandoned, hopeless, scared, like he was awaiting death, etc.) 

All of the children at the orphanage came from situations that looked hopeless. Some were abandoned in the jungle as newborns and left to die. Some were left at a hospital at birth because of extreme handicap issues. Some were suffering the effects of extreme neglect and abuse. Surviving long enough to live a full life looked impossible for each of these children. Hold up the puzzle and move the flap back and forth.

Perhaps you have experienced or are facing something that looks impossible. Maybe it is passing a test or getting along with an enemy. Maybe it is a struggle at home. Hold up the puzzle and move the flap back and forth.

  • What situations or experiences in your life or the lives of others look impossible to you today? (Answers will vary.)
  • What gives you the feeling that these situations or experiences are truly impossible? (Answers will vary. Some might comment that they haven’t seen miraculous outcomes in person, or that it is easier to believe bad things than good.)
  • How do you feel when you are facing something that looks impossible? (Answers will vary but might include sadness, hopelessness, fear, etc.)

Joshua, the Gibeonites, and the Israelites were outnumbered against a strong alliance of five kings and their mighty cities. Survival for the Israelites looked impossible. Hold up the puzzle and move the flap back and forth. But when God is involved, we cannot base our estimation of the outcome on what we see or fear. Here is an account of how something that is impossible to man became possible when God is in it.

Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?

You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.

Step 4:

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Ultra-fine tipped permanent markers

Earlier we talked about impossible situations for some kids in orphanages around the world. Let’s see how those impossible situations turned out.

Show this video [3:14]:
Why This Couple With 38 Kids Won’t Stop Adopting Children
https://dcc-web-1.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/RLD+Assets/Why+this+couple+with+38+kids+wont+stop+adopting+children.mp4

God worked through Jeane and Paul Briggs—parents to six biological children—to adopt thirty-two children, many with special needs, all whose futures looked impossible. God provided for the Briggs to be able to afford to raise these children in a safe environment, to educate them, feed them, and take care of their medical needs. Thirty-two children who had little to no hope grew up in a home, and in a family, where they were loved and nurtured. We talked briefly about a few of their situations earlier. Abraham Briggs, the two year old who was in an orphanage in Mexico—the one who was blind, in a cast, and had brain damage—is an adult now. He is talented in piano and guitar and even writes music. Our God is the God of the impossible! There is nothing too hard for God! Joshua and the Israelites saw that truth. The Briggs family has experienced it, too. What about you?

  • How will you stop yourself from giving up or giving in to fear when a situation looks hopeless or impossible to you? (Answers will vary; pray; ask God to do the impossible; think about Joshua or think about the Briggs family, etc.)
  • The adoptions into the Briggs family did not happen right away. For some of the children, the process took years. What will you do to remind yourself to have faith that nothing is impossible for God, even when God is not acting right away or when God chooses not to act at all? (Answers will vary.)

Walk the students through the steps of making their own impossible puzzle like the one you showed them at the beginning of class (Step 1).

You might want to show them the tutorial [2:02]:
Impossible Puzzle Trick

Ask them to write the memory verse on one side of the flap (“With God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26) and the lesson focus on the other (The impossible becomes possible with God).

Why not use this puzzle as a reminder? When you face something that looks impossible, get out your puzzle. Remember that looks can be deceiving. What looks impossible to us is always possible to God. 

You may have a short week at school leading up to Thanksgiving. Is there something at school that seems impossible to you? Something at home? Show your puzzle to your friends at school as a way to remind yourself of God’s power and as a way to tell others about God.

At the end of the week as you celebrate Thanksgiving and see friends and family who you may not see often, share your impossible puzzle. Tell of what God did for Joshua and the Israelites. Tell others that what looks impossible to us is never impossible when God is in it.

Close in a prayer of thanksgiving, praising God for being the God of the Impossible. Pray also that the students will have faith to know that what looks impossible to them is possible for God.

Additional resources:
The family with 34 children – and counting
https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-30386348

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