When talking with young adults who have rejected God at some point, there are two common themes. The first is usually that they did not see God making a positive difference in the lives of their parents. The other is that they cannot see God working in the world today, attributing everything that happens to luck or fate.
There is a fun family devotional you can do with your kids to help them begin to understand how God works in the world today. Read or tell your children two stories in the life of the prophet Elijah. The first is the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal found in I Kings 18:16-45. The second is the story of God appearing to Elijah found in I Kings 19:9-18.
Talk about the amazing “big” way in which God showed himself in the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. Then discuss the “small”, gentle way God appeared to Elijah in the second story. Explain that sometimes people only see God when He does “big”, miraculous things. Tell them how God is sometimes even more amazing in the “small”, quiet things He does for us.
Ask your kids if they can think of other ways God can show himself to us. Older children will be able to handle more abstract ideas like “God shows Himself to us when He answers our prayers in ways we know only He can do.”. If they make summary type statements like that, have them give you a concrete example from when they have seen God work that way.
Younger children will probably only begin to understand the topic, as it is rather abstract in some ways. Talk with them about seeing God’s Power in volcanos or thunderstorms – nature. Or God’s gentle, small voice in the tiny flowers they see on their walk or the new baby animal at the zoo. They can also connect to very specific prayers like God helping Grandma get better or Daddy to find a new job.
Then give them some plain paper, old magazines, glue, markers or other found objects. Encourage them to create a work of art titled, “I Can See God Working Today in Ways That Are Big and Ways That Are Small.” Encourage them to be creative not only in their artwork, but also in the things they choose to illustrate. You may want to encourage them to think of a minimum number of ways or leave it entirely up to them. The more interesting art materials you provide, the longer they will be willing to spend on the project.
After finishing their art, encourage them to share it with you and others. Talk about the things they illustrated. Encourage them to keep adding to their art as they think of other things. Maybe you and your spouse can start your own works of art about how you see God working, too. Helping your kids see how God works in the world today is a huge building block in their faith foundation. It’s definitely worth your time and effort.