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Salt water is special

Salt water is special

Make a raw egg float in salt water to illustrate how much God cares about our tears and sorrows, and how God shows us His compassion by carrying us in our times of sorrow.

Note: This activity idea also appears in the Kids of Integrity Easter lesson.

You will need a large bowl, four cups of water, plastic drinking cups, one raw egg for each child, stickers or permanent markers, tablespoons and 10 tablespoons of salt.

  • Have each child decorate a raw egg with stickers or markers to represent himself or herself.
  • Place the eggs in the bottom of a plastic bowl, then have your children take turns pouring in a cup of water at a time (four cups of water in total). As each cup of water is poured in, ask your children to list things that make people cry.
  • Observe the egg sitting on the bottom of the bowl, and explain that sometimes someone who is very sad says they feel as though they are “drowning in sorrow.” Mention that, just as we can’t breathe under water, sometimes our sorrows feel so heavy that we feel we can’t handle it.
  • Read Psalm 116:1-5, then have your children begin adding salt by the tablespoonful. Be sure each spoonful is stirred and dissolved before the next one is added. As you add the salt, work through the discussion questions below.
Questions for discussion
  • What do people do when they are sad?
  • How are tears different from drops of rain?
  • Have you ever cried so hard you felt like you were going to stop breathing?
  • Do you think God sees your tears?
  • When we feel dreadfully sad, who promises to care for us?
  • If a friend is sad, how can you encourage them?
Key concepts

God gave us tears as a way to help us cope with our sadness. Tears taste salty and they contain special chemicals that are released by our bodies to help us feel better. (To enrich your children’s understanding of the fascinating way God made our bodies, especially tears, you may want to do a little research on the Internet, or look through a children’s physiology book.)

Even when our grief is so overwhelming that we feel we cannot bear it, we can be sure that Jesus sees our tears, and that He understands and cares. Jesus’ death on the cross made Him familiar with sorrow and pain. He knows what it is like to be made fun of, hurt, and even betrayed by a friend.

God is like the salt that “lifted up” the egg. He is described in the Bible as the "Father of compassion" and "the God of all comfort" (2 Corinthians 1:3). God promises tol always be with us and “carry us” through our trials and difficult days (Isaiah 46:4-5).

In Psalm 56:8, David asks God to keep track of his tears. When we cry and taste our salt tears, we can use it as a reminder of God’s care for us. If a friend or family member is experiencing sadness, we can remind them of God's love by telling them that He cares about and understands their sorrow.

Relevant Scripture

Psalm 116:1-5 “I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy. Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live. The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: ‘O Lord, save me!’ The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.

Psalm 56:8 “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?

Isaiah 46:4-5 “. . . even to your old age I am He and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save. To whom will you liken Me and make Me equal, and compare Me, that we may be alike?