"It's a jungle out there!"This year we are going to be animals for God. I'm sure that sounds a little wild and crazy. When you have kids, it's perfectly normal to feel like you're living in a jungle, every man for himself. Chaos everywhere. This year there is a little order to our jungle; we are the animals and it's a good thing. A God thing.
Remember the growth capsules you used to get as a little kid? They looked like colored medicine, and when you put them in warm water, they grew into a sponge. I loved these when I was little. You never knew exactly what you were getting. It was so fun to be surprised with a different shape. I don't remember doing anything with the sponges after they had grown; the whole point was watching them change.
I found a pack of 18 capsules at the dollar store. My pack had 6 different animals, three of each one. After much prayer, and help from my mother, I came up with index cards of information for each animal. I used this as an object lesson on growth for my second and third grade class at church. The kids were going to have the opportunity to be a horse, giraffe, tiger, lion, elephant, or crocodile for God. I found a Bible verse to go with the animal, and I tried to highlight different characteristics I thought the animal might exhibit.
When you see the capsules, you have no idea what animal you will be getting. You choose what color you like, and the animal is a surprise, a theme for the year from God. The kids in my class got so into this, I decided to repeat the activity with my family.
A horse gallops into the spiritual battle using God’s word. Thoroughbreds are part of God’s kingdom following His commands not being stubborn like mules.
“Put on all the ARMOR that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil's evil tricks.” Ephesians 6:11
Warrior – Tough – Protector – Fighter
A giraffe’s long neck can reach high places, feeding on the good stuff of God. You will not scrounge in the dirt for grubs.
“I run straight toward the GOAL to win the prize that God’s heavenly call offers in Jesus.” Philippians 3:14
This year Ariel is going to be a TIGER for God.
The tiger is proud and does not shrink back in fear. It stalks its prey the devil because it knows that God is on its side.
“Be STRONG and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
This year Gabriel is going to be a LION for God.
Lions walk boldly into what God has given them. They do not fear difficulties.
“The wicked run away, but the godly are as BOLD as lions”. Proverbs 28:1
This year Zechariah is going to be a ELEPHANT for God.
An elephant never forgets the commands of God, and always stores the knowledge from the Bible in memory.
”I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in KNOWLEDGE and understanding.” Philippians 1:9
The crocodile will gobble up God’s word, and has thick skin to keep out the enemy’s attacks.
“You will SEARCH again for the Lord your God. And if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him.” Deuteronomy 4:29
The anticipation for the kids in finding out their animal was great! They loved it. I hope and pray they continue to walk in the footsteps of their animal. To put on the armor as a horse, to have goals like a giraffe, to be strong as a tiger, to walk boldly as a lion, to be knowledgeable as an elephant, and to search for God with all their heart as a crocodile would.
*UPDATE* Three years later we added More Animals for God
Every year I pray and ask God for a word, a theme for the year. This year He led me to a Live Second devotional. My husband and I are going through the book together. I want that to be my theme this year, to always put myself second.
When it comes to God, I put Him first, myself second. When it comes to my husband, I put him first, myself second. When it comes to my kids, I want to put them first, myself second. When it comes to my friendships, I want to put them first, myself second. My word for the year is Second. I am Second.