Lesson 9: The Cave-Man Blues!
Depression is a serious issue for people, including children. Childhood depression is affecting more and more children every single year. We can choose to ignore this fact, or we can choose to DEAL WITH IT. God did not design us to live life depressed and sad. Certainly depression is NOT a sin, but that doesn’t mean we have to just sit by and let it control us either. We can DEAL WITH IT by allowing God’s joy to fill our lives. In this lesson, the children will learn how David dealt with depression when it seemed that everything was going South in his life. He worshipped himself out of depression and allowed the joy of the Lord to be his strength.
At Home Instructions
Leader: Today we are going to be learning how to DEAL WITH depression... (Suddenly the blues music begins. Mr. Crabbe comes up with sun glasses on and begins singing the following lines along with the blues music.)
Mr. Crabbe: (singing the blues) I woke up this morning with bad case of the blues; I decided to stay in bed and get me a little snooze; I don’t even want to get up and face this cruel old world; so, I guess I’ll just stay depressed and watch my toenails curl...
Leader: (interrupts) Cut the music! Cut the music! Mr. Crabbe! Why are you saying all these things? That doesn’t sound like you are feeling very happy today.
Mr. Crabbe: You better believe I ain’t feeling happy. I am depressed. I got a bad case of the blues!
Leader: Well, why? What’s the matter?
Mr. Crabbe: What’s the matter? Why, what AIN’T the matter? I woke up and looked in the mirror and saw my hair was falling out. Plus, I made some breakfast and the bread was all moldy! Then, I got a call from my nephew who told me that my subscription to Crab Apple magazine had been cancelled. On top of all that, my back hurts, my feet ache, and my spleen is creaking! I just figure I am doomed to feel this way the rest of my life.
Leader: Well, that’s not true.
Mr. Crabbe: Sure, it is. I’m sad and depressed and there’s nothing I can do about it. I guess God wants me to be this way.
Leader: Well, I can tell you this, Mr. Crabbe. It’s certainly not what God wants for you to feel all sad and depressed. The Bible says that Jesus came to give us LIFE, not sadness! Our Power Verse says that the joy of the Lord is our strength! God doesn’t want you to live life all sad, He wants you to have JOY!
Mr. Crabbe: Well, if God wants me to be happy, then why do I feel so sad?
Leader: I wish I could tell you that you will never feel sad or depressed. The fact is, that’s just something that happens to all of us every once in a while. Sometimes it stays even longer than we really want it to. But, we’re going to learn today how to DEAL WITH IT!
Mr. Crabbe: I certainly want to know how to DEAL WITH IT!
Leader: Well, then I tell you what I want you to do. You can start by not singing those blues songs anymore. That probably isn’t going to help you feel better. It will just make you feel worse. Then, you can also listen to our Bible story today as we learn just how to DEAL WITH depression. Sound good?
Mr. Crabbe: Sounds more than good. Sounds great! I certainly can’t wait to find out. In the meantime, I am going to take these shades off and start paying attention to the lesson. See ya!
Leader: See you later, Mr. Crabbe. Kids, depression is a tough thing to DEAL WITH. But, we’re going to learn how to do it in today’s lesson.
Choose one boy and one girl to compete in this game. Choose one of your leaders to be the “Funny Person.”
Kids, today we are talking about the JOY of the Lord. So, we are going to let you practice your JOY today by getting our resident FUNNY PERSON to try to make you laugh.
Choose which contestant will go first. Have them sit in the chair. When you say, “GO!”, start the stopwatch. The goal is to keep from laughing as long as possible. The FUNNY PERSON’s job is to try to make the child laugh without touching them at all. They can make faces, tell jokes, do whatever they wish. See which contestant can go the longest without laughing. The one with the longest time wins.
We’ve all been sad. Sometimes we are sad and can’t shake out of it. That is called being depressed. Many times when we are depressed, we feel like we are “weird.” We think we are the only ones who have ever felt that way.
The truth is, there are many people today who suffer from depression. There were even people in the Bible who suffered from depression. Did you know there was a “cave-man” in the Bible who suffered from depression? No, not a cave man like the one on the screen, but a different sort of caveman. Do you remember David? He’s the guy who killed the giant Goliath with a small stone. He’s the guy who was anointed to be King of Israel even when he was only a shepherd boy. Pretty cool, huh?
Well, it didn’t stay that way. The current King of Israel, Saul, got angry at David for being anointed as the next King and he began to chase David all over the country trying to kill him. David had to run for his life. He ended up hiding in a cave called Adullam. Here we find our “cave man” sitting and feeling very lonely and depressed.
Do you know what David did? He wrote a song. He did that a lot. He wrote almost the entire book of Psalms, which are songs to God. You would think maybe David would write a sad song. But, he didn’t. Most Biblical scholars think he wrote Psalm 34 while in the cave. We are going to look at several things David wrote in that Psalm to teach us what we need to remember when we are depressed.
A lot of times, we are embarrassed when we are sad. We hide the fact that we are depressed by putting on a fake smile. But, David didn’t do that. He knew that it’s OK to be sad. It’s OK to cry. He wrote in Psalm 34:6, “I cried out to the Lord in my suffering...” Does that sound like he was hiding the fact that he was sad? Not at all. When we are sad, we don’t need to hide our sadness, and act like we are not sad. (pull out the tissue box) Sometimes we have times when we feel like crying. Don’t hold it in, let it out. Feel free to cry and be honest about your feelings. David did. He said he was suffering and sad. He admitted his feelings. He wasn’t ashamed to cry.
David also teaches us something else we need to remember when we are depressed...
David says in Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted...” When we are sad, we feel we are facing our depression all alone. But, we aren’t. God is close to us at all times, especially when we are sad. He is there to help us. All we have to do is call on Him. And, do you know what?
David remembered what we need to remember: “The Lord hears his people when they call to Him for help.” When you are sad and depressed, call to God for help. He hears every time I call. (hold up the cell phone) Ever tried to call someone on a cell phone and it kept dropping the call OR it said they were “out of range.” Or maybe you tried to call someone and got a busy signal. That’s annoying. Well, God is ALWAYS in range and he is NEVER busy! When you call on Him, He answers.
I want you to watch this story of a young girl who struggled with depression for a long time, but then called on God and He answered.
- Play: Interview - Depression
Isn’t it awesome? When we call on God, He hears us and will give us the joy we need.
David says in Psalm 34:5, “Those who look to Him will be radiant with joy.” And, our Power Verse tells us that “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” When we are sad and depressed, God will give us the joy we need for strength to make it through our sad time. Depression doesn’t have to last forever. Call on God and let Him fill you with His joy!
(Play soft music) Pray for those who have been struggling with sadness and depression. Pray that God will fill them with His joy so they will have the strength they need to “deal with” depression.
What was today’s Big Idea? Answer: The Joy Of The Lord Is My Strength!
What kind of music was Mr. Crabbe singing? Answer: The blues
What was the name of the “cave-man” in our Bible story? Answer: David
Even when we go through hard times, are we ever alone? Answer: No, God is with us
True or False: God created us so that we would be depressed all the time. Answer: False
Is it a sin to be depressed? Answer: No
In our lesson we learned that it is “OK to _______.” Answer: Cry
When David was depressed he wrote a ___________. Answer: Song
Our Power Verse said, “Do not be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your ______________.” Answer: Strength
Where was our Power Verse found? Answer: Nehemiah 8:10