When you feel like you are on top of the world and everything is going your way, you might find yourself believing that anything is possible. On the other hand, when personal struggles weigh you down and your security blankets fray, you may start to doubt yourself, your direction, and whether anything good lies ahead.
The video we are about to watch shows someone who seemed to be on top of the world—David Leonard of the popular worship duo All Sons and Daughters—shares about a time of uncertainty with the direction his life was going and challenges he was facing. Let’s watch.
Play the following video For your students [4:20]:
David Leonard | ‘Features on Film with Andrew Greer’
- What challenges were weighing David down? (Accept all reasonable answers, from professional to personal struggles, questions of identity, dealing with loss and uncertainty.)
- What did he seek and what did he find to help him believe in God’s hand on his life again? (Accept all reasonable answers. He sought out time and space for quiet contemplation. What he found was not a mapped out plan, but a moment of being seen.)
The rest of the interview with David reveals that he recently recorded a solo album and had a baby girl. In that moment in the desert, he didn’t know that things would work out this way, but he learned that God was not ignoring him and would work things out somehow.
- Are you an eternal optimist or a born skeptic? What does it take for you to trust someone or something? (Answers will vary. Accept all reasonable answers.)
- In life we like assurances, collateral, and contracts. Should it be that way with God? (Accept all reasonable answers. God does make and keep promises and can handle our questions and offer signs. But because of who God is and what He’s shown us before, we can believe without seeing.)
In today’s story, God is showing up for Gideon and His people after years of hard times, but Gideon is struggling to believe how God can do what He says He will. Though God’s presence with him might have been enough, Gideon asks for more and more signs. Let’s explore this exchange and see what it might say about God and us.
Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?
You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. For upper elementary, middle school, and high school your Step 4 appears below. For adult, use the Step 4 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.
- Envelopes (1 per student)
Sometimes as Christians, believing that God exists is one thing, but trusting His timing, His plans, or that He will act at all can be another issue. The Bible gives us stories of those who waited on God for years while He was seemingly silent and of those who then heard His voice and saw Him act mightily. These examples can help us when we are going through our own seasons of waiting to believe that God will act even before we see it come to fruition.
- What do you think about the need to test or question God even after He shows up? Why do you think people do this? (Accept all reasonable answers. Because we don’t physically see God like we do the people in our lives, we often want more tangible evidence or confirmation. We may often think our problems are too big to be solved or are reeling from times others have broken our trust.)
- Have you ever tested or questioned God about something? Share about that, if you feel comfortable. (Answers will vary. Students may not have examples of back and forth dialogue with God like in Gideon’s exchange, but it is common to make a deal with God, saying things like, “If you do this, then I promise to…” or “If you are real, then show me by….” Be prepared to share your own experience.)
- Is there a situation in your life right now where you are questioning God or searching for signs or answers from God? Share about that, if you feel comfortable. (Answers will vary. In the face of tragedies and suffering, students may be searching for signs of God at work. In the face of major life decisions, students may be searching for a signal that they’ve made the right choice. If called to leadership or out of their comfort zone, like Gideon, students may be searching for signs that God will be with them.)
Today we are going to make a tiny time capsule. It only involves paper and an envelope, though you can choose to add to it more on your own if you wish. Write down on your paper the situation that is causing you to doubt, question, or look for signs from God. Write about what you are feeling about the situation. Write down what you would like to see or hear from God about this. Write about what you thought or heard from God about this before or what you hope or suspect He might be doing in this situation. Put the date on your paper. Place it in the envelope. If you have other items at home to serve as a reminder of this time, you can choose to add them to the envelope later.
Seal the envelope. Set it aside to open at a later date—maybe in a month, in the new year, or a full year from now. Then, you’ll see what God has done in your life and in this particular situation. For now, believe that even if you can’t see God, God sees you. Believe that God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do.
Close in prayer.
(For our adult customers: we are not affiliated with and do not endorse any website or any other media listed on these pages. At the time of writing, our editors carefully review the referenced material and non-references web page content. However, due to the nature of the Internet, non-cited content on the website [including pop-ups, links, and ads] changes frequently and is beyond our control. Please review carefully before showing links in the classroom.)
(For our upper elementary, middle school, and high school customers: David C Cook is not affiliated with and does not endorse any website or any other media listed on these pages. At the time of writing, David C Cook editors carefully review the referenced material and non-referenced web page content. However, due to the nature of the Internet, non-cited content on the website [including pop-ups, links, and ads] changes frequently and is beyond our control. Please review carefully before shoeing links in the classroom.)