Seeing Good in the Bad
This Past Friday our Youth Group met for “Nailed It” night, which is a night when we were able to bake together and do our best to make some amazing creations, but as we know, these creations might not all turn out to be amazing since we are not all gifted in baking, hence why I chose the name based on the show where we do not always “Nail It”.
This was intended to be a fun night where the pressure is not too high. We made Macaroni and Cheese from scratch as requested by two of our youth and they even made it with their own recipe. We also made and decorated our own sugar cookies. Some were awesome, some could have been improved upon, but all of the baking was fun, and it tasted good too.
Now youth group is not only about doing fun things, but it is also about doing things together with friends and learning about faith in Jesus. The challenge each week with a group of many youth who have no church family other than youth group, is to learn how to share this in a way that will stick.
With the help of the internet, I shared an object lesson that I believed would help the youth remember that God is with them in good times and bad. The lesson was based on Romans 8:28, (“God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His good purpose.”) and I focused on how sometimes, good things can be found in the difficult times, or good things would not have happened, unless these difficult times had happened first.
To help them better understand this, I asked them about the ingredients they used to make the cookies and the Mac and Cheese, and I asked them how the ingredients would taste individually. How good does sugar taste, how about flour, or the baking powder? Of course, in a challenging youth fashion, several of the kids felt that flour or baking powder would taste good on their own and I started to worry that this object lesson was not going to work, that was when I had the bright idea to put their words to the test.
I challenged them to prove it. I ran over to the baking powder and asked who wanted to show me how great it was, and I had several volunteers.
For a moment my kids looked like they could handle the small half teaspoon they ate, and that baking powder did taste good, but after a few moments, it started to fizz, and they headed to the kitchen for some water. Baking powder wasn’t so great on its own after all!
Then I was able to share about how important all the ingredients were; the good, the bitter, and the bland all work together to make a great recipe! I continued that this was a bit like our lives that have good days, boring days and sad or bitter days, which can be used by God to make the life He has in mind for us to be a part of His good plan.
Kids took some time to see how they might have seen this in their lives. They shared about how they have had bad days but could see how something good came from them. Some of them realized that being in a smaller baking group meant more cookies for them in the end, some dug deeper and realized that a difficult moment forced them to be in a place to make a new friend or that the pandemic resulted in closer friendships because they got to spend more time online with a particular friend. Through this they could see good coming from what may have only seemed bad at first.
Sometimes we need to take the time to dig a little deeper and look beyond what looks bad, bothersome or difficult on its own and we need to watch for the good things God can bring out of it. We may not see it now, but when we trust in God who makes a promise like that, it helps to know that God is walking with us through that moment so that we can be a part of His good plan.
Question to think about: How have you seen God bring good out of a difficult time in your life?