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By Lois Parker Edstrom
You all look like happy children, but I think we all, at some time, experience difficult things. Most adults can look back on their lives and remember hard times. Some adults have dealt with illness; some have had to work very hard to provide for their families. Others may have experienced the loss of a loved one. (The lesson could be expanded here by inviting someone who has overcome adversity to share an uplifting account of that experience.)
You may not have experienced those types of hard times, but perhaps you have felt frightened, sad or discouraged. Let’s see what we can find in today’s lesson that might be helpful when that happens.
The nation of Israel had experienced hard times and the prophet, Jeremiah, reminds them of God’s goodness. He tells them that they will be cared for like a “watered garden and they shall not sorrow any more…” (31:12). We also read that God will “turn their mourning (sadness) into joy and…comfort them…”(31:13).
When we feel sad, we might think we will feel that way forever, but the Bible teaches us to hold on, have patience, remember God’s goodness, and find comfort by reading God’s promises which are found in the Bible.
When we feel sad, we may need to let others comfort and take care of us for a while, like a gardener waters and cares for a garden. The Bible teaches us that God can turn our sadness into joy. Eventually we will be our happy selves again. It is possible. If you experience hard times, remember this and be strong.
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2014, Richard Niell Donovan