You can prepare kids to trust God’s faithfulness regardless of the challenges they face by teaching them about “God Sightings.”
God Sightings are moments when you notice something that reminds you of God’s character. They come in different forms – something amazing in nature, something related to God’s incredible provision, a miracle, or the love of a stranger. Encourage kids to share their God Sightings every day. One way they can do this is by writing about them in a God Sightings journal. That journal may come in handy on those days when it’s hard for them to have those eye of faith which see God. They can be encouraged that God is always active, and He can always be trusted.
When I was little, I learned how to find the Big Dipper in the sky. Over my lifetime, during difficult times, I have lain on the ground at night to see that the Big Dipper is still there even though its position changed. I learned how it revolves around the north star which is always in the same place and can be found by drawing an imaginary line through the last two stars of the Big Dipper handle. It all reminds me that God is dependable, orderly and has the whole universe right where it’s supposed to be, so it helps me pray from that humble perspective. When you’re out on a clear night, help kids find the Big Dipper and remind them God is always the same and dependable.
You can look for God Sightings when watching nature programs. For example: the African Jacana is a small river bird with notably long toes for walking on lily pads. Males take over raising the chicks after they hatch. If a predator approaches their babies, the father will call to them and then scoop them up under his wings and carry them to safety. This bird reminds me that God is our gentle and protective Father. Psalm 91:4 says, “He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge…” Look up pictures or videos of African Jacana birds online and encourage kids how they can trust God’s protection.
Despite all the discoveries made through science, there are some animal behaviors that still seem unexplainable. Why do spinner dolphins spin when they leap out of the water? Why do cows always face north or south when they eat? Why do cats purr? All these things show God’s power and presence. Whenever an animal displays a characteristic that is not directly linked to survival instinct, this is another God Sighting. God is saying, “Hey, I’m here! I did that just because I can.” When you and the kids in your life come across science mysteries like these, you can remind them that God is all-powerful and imaginative.
Your own backyard has great potential for God Sightings. You can show kids God’s attention to detail with this God Sighting activity: Go outside. Find a leaf, flower or plant and observe it carefully. Point out the intricate patterns in the leaves, the delicate curves of flower petals, what makes this plant different from others and the infinite variety! As they consider the intricacy of plant life or other organisms, you can remind them that our God is incredibly creative and detailed. You can thank Him for color, which is just bonus fun. Ask them what their favorite creations are. Together, you can explore the intelligent design behind it and praise God for His creativity and wisdom.
How have you seen God acting in your life recently? How have you seen His provision and power in the past? Maybe you were feeling discouraged and just the right Christian song came on the radio or God brought a passage of Scripture to your attention. Maybe He provided just the right amount of money to pay for something. Maybe He blessed you with something you enjoy through another person, such as a candy bar, a hug or a kind note. Sharing your God Sightings gives testimony to God’s faithfulness.
The more kids practice seeing God in the little things, the easier it will be to see Him during difficult times.
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