I love giraffes. They’re so graceful and elegant. And tall. They’re really tall.
Not only are they great to look at, they’re also incredibly intricate in their creation.
In order to keep blood pumping through their long legs and neck they have a heart that is TWO FEET long!! They also have valves in their neck that stop blood from exploding their brains when they lower their head to drink.
My favourite of their amazing features is a sponge like collection of veins (the rete mirabile) that is at the base of their brain. It expands to fill with blood while their head is lowered so that when it is raised (potentially a height shift of over 12 feet) they don’t pass out. The blood slowly releases to keep the brain oxygenated while the heart works to stabilise the blood flow. How cool is that?
[hear more about giraffes in the podcast of my sermon from Sunday Feb 14]
Knowing all this, every time I see a giraffe I remember again how clever God is! How His creation is so intricate and complicated and ingenious. It’s amazing. Ahh-maze-ingggg!!
But then I think how the giraffe is just one of hundreds of animals God made. And animals are only one aspect of God’s created world. There’s the birds and the plants, the oceans and the mountains, the planets and the solar systems, and then …then …there are humans!! Our bodies are so complex and so functional and there are so many different types of us! Wow! Like really, wow!
He is a big, powerful, creative, loving and active God.
When it comes to supporting kids growing in their faith one thing they need is a REALLY BIG GOD. They need to know that everything about Him is bigger and better than we could even imagine. He made the giraffe, and the tiny ant, and the infinite galaxies, and you. His story is long and big and we have just joined it for a small part. He has been making and loving people for thousands of years. Guiding them. Helping them. He has been faithful to people who have not been faithful to Him. He has used children and kings; people who made really dumb decisions and mistakes, as well as people who were humble and seeking Him. For thousands of years He has had people talk about Him and wonder if He’s real or not. He’s had people wonder if He really made the earth or if His promises are actually true. And He has kept loving and pursuing us and using us to write His love note to the world.
He is a really big God!
Sometimes, in our attempts to explain God to our kids we inadvertently shrink Him (only in our minds – He can’t actually be shrunk). We try to describe and define Him and we are limited by our own understanding and our ability to ariculate the revelation of God to us.
Our kids need to hear about a God who is big. Big enough to know and be everywhere. Big enough to always be in control. Big enough to know every star in the universe AND their names and thoughts and fears. Big enough to have their future in His hands and to not be scared by their questions or doubts. They need a God who can be trusted at all times.
What might it look like for us to consciously consider the language we use? To be intentional in the ways we respond to our kids’ wonderings. To not limit them in their questions or shut down their doubts. God is big. He is big enough to handle whatever you are thinking, feeling or fearing.
5 things every kid needs – Think Orange
#1 a really big God
#2 someone else