Lesson 3: Surviving The Storm
Peter and the disciples found themselves in the middle of a great storm. They were all alone in the middle of the sea. Jesus appeared to them, walking on the water. Peter asked Jesus to allow him to come out and walk on the water with Him. As Peter was walking on the water, he looked around and got scared by the wind and the waves. He took his eyes off of Jesus and began to sink. In this lesson, the children will learn that when the storms and problems of life come along, they must not look at how HUGE the problems are—but how HUGE the power of God is. They must keep their eyes on Jesus as they are going through life’s storms. He will bring them through safely.
(Rod enters, flying onto stage as if he’d been thrown. He’s a complete wreck, hair messed up, face dirty, and his fishing rod is broken, but he hops up and is grinning and enthusiastic as usual)
Rod: Ahoy there, boys and girls!
Leader: WHOAH!! Rod…are…are you okay?!
Rod: You bet your fins! I’m more than okay! I’m GREAT!
Leader: You look like a total mess! Did you get in a fight or something?
Rod: Yessir, I have! It was wilder than boxing with an octopus! It was more dangerous than sword fighting with a swordfish! It was more perilous than going up against a dolphin in a belly flop contest!!!
Leader: What’d you get in a fight with??
Rod: The open sea!!
Leader: What are you TALKING about??
Rod: Well, I’ll tell ya! I was out on my boat, the Bessy-Loo…
Leader: (Interrupts) You named your ship “Bessy-Loo?”
Rod: Yep, after my great grandmother, Bessy-Loo Tacklebox! I took her out for a nice peaceful day of fishing, when all of the sudden….the sky turned BLACK! Thunder and lightning was everywhere! The waves went UP and DOWN, UP and DOWN (repeats this several times, squatting up and down as he says it, the Leader starts doing it along with him)
Leader: I think I’m gonna be sick…
Rod: (stops going up and down) Then the wind started to HOWL! It almost blew the boat right over!
Leader: Wow, were you scared?
Rod: Of course not! I was laughing the whole time!
Leader: You were LAUGHING?! Why on earth were you laughing during a scary storm like that?
Rod: Because I remembered that I am a child of God, a God bigger and stronger than any storm! I rode the waves and prayed, “Lord, I’m in a storm, but I trust you to keep me safe! I’m keeping my eyes on you and trusting that you’ll get me out of this!”
Leader: Wow, what happened next?
Rod: The wind started blowing harder…and harder. It blew so hard that it caught the sail, picked up the whole boat and me with it. God blew us right out of the storm, all the way across the ocean, and we ended up right outside! And now I’m here talking to you!
Leader: Are you telling me that God took you out of the storm?
Rod: That’s what I’m saying!
Leader: Wow! That goes great with what we’re talking about today with Peter. He was in a giant storm, and he made the mistake of taking his eyes off of Jesus and started to drown. When he focused back on Jesus, Jesus saved him.
Rod: I LOVE that story! Remember boys and girls, no matter how scary things get, no matter WHAT kind of storms you may go through, you are protected by the power of the All-Mighty God! Just keep your eyes on Him and He’ll rescue you. Well, I need to be going.
Leader: Wait, where are you headed?
Rod: I gotta get Bessy-Loo off the roof! Maybe God can blow in a really big ladder. I’ll see ya later, boys and girls! THERE SHE BLOWS, AND HERE I GO!!!
Have you ever been in a really bad storm? Rain, wind, thunder, dark clouds—it can be pretty scary, huh? There are times in our lives when it feels like we are in a storm as well. There may not be any rain or thunder, but it feels like problems and difficulties are “raining” down on us.
It’s a fact of life—problems are going to come. Jesus told us, “In this world you will have trouble…” It’s going to happen. Trouble at school, trouble at home, trouble in our friendships, trouble in our neighborhoods. We have things that will go wrong—sick family members, bullies, bad grades, people talking bad about us, friends that turn their back on us, etc. Problems happen! Storms of life happen!
Well, the good news is that we never have to face those storms alone. Jesus is ALWAYS there with us to help us through life’s storms. Today, we are going to learn about a time in Peter’s life when he was in a big storm as well—and his storm just happened to also be a REAL storm!
We find the story in Matthew 14. Jesus had just finished teaching a large group of people and wanted to go be alone for awhile and pray. So, he sent the disciples and Peter out in the boat to cross the sea. While they were out there in the middle of the night—all of a sudden a HUGE storm came.
The disciples started freaking out!
They all thought they were going to die!
Then, just when they thought it just couldn’t get any worse—they looked up and saw a figure of a person coming toward them.
The disciples looked and thought it was a ghost. They all began to get very scared. First there was a big storm, and now a ghost is coming after them. Well, it definitely was NOT a ghost—do you know who it was? (allow kids to respond) That’s right! It was Jesus! He was walking on the water and coming out to be with them in the storm.
Suddenly, Peter yells out to Jesus, “Lord, if it is really you—let me come out and walk on the water to you.” Jesus, said, “Come on.” So, Peter does something that most of us would think was CRAZY. He steps out of the boat in the middle of the storm and begins to walk on the water towards Jesus.
Can you imagine walking on water—in the middle of a storm? That had to be an incredible experience. Peter kept walking on the water toward Jesus, focusing on his Lord just a few feet away. Then, suddenly Peter did something that really messed him up. He began to look around at all of the waves, the storm, and the rain. He began to get scared.
Suddenly, after Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and started focusing on the storm—he began to sink.
Peter thought he was going to drown. He cried out to Jesus to save him. Jesus reached out his hand to Peter
and pulled him out of the water, setting him into the boat. Peter was saved. Jesus looked at Peter and said, “You have such little faith. Why did you doubt?” Peter felt ashamed because he had stopped focusing on Jesus and having faith in Him, and had instead started focusing on the storm around him.
Boys and girls, there are several lessons we can learn from Peter’s mistake in this story...
We said it before, problems are going to come. There is nothing we can do to change that. People get sick, family members pass away, people do us wrong. Things happen that we don’t like. They are the “storms” of our lives. But, when the storms come…
When problems come, we can’t forget that we are not alone. Jesus is with us no matter what kind of storm we face. We must keep our eyes on Him, remembering how AWESOME He is! Praying to Him, believing in Him, and trusting Him—that’s what we should be doing in the storm. Instead, often we start focusing on how BIG our problems are instead of focusing on how BIG God is. When we are in a storm, we must not make the mistake that Peter made. We must keep our eyes on Jesus. If we do...
We must remember, God wants to help us when we are facing problems in our lives. He is there for us—all we have to do is call on Him in prayer. He will help us through any storm we face.
(play soft music) Pray with the children who are facing storms in their lives.
What was today’s Big Idea? Answer: “I Will Keep My Eyes On Jesus When I’m Going Through The Storm!”
What happened to Rod Tacklebox’s boat—where did it end up? Answer: on top of the roof
What did Jesus do while He sent the disciples out in the boat on the sea? Answer: He went to be by Himself to pray
What happened to the weather while the disciples were on the sea? Answer: a storm came up
When the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water, what did they think He was? Answer: a ghost
Peter started walking on the water, but what happened when he took his eyes off of Jesus? Answer: he began to sink
According to our lesson today, “Life Is Full Of __________.” Answer: Storms
According to our lesson today, when a storm comes “I Must Keep My Eyes On ____________.” Answer: Jesus
According to our lesson today, “God Will Help Me ____________ The Storm.” Answer: Survive
Where was our Power Verse found? Answer: Hebrews 12:2