Rocks and roses

Science with a twist

For this object lesson, you’ll fill a transparent vase with flowers, water, rocks and sand.

Discussion point: God helps us overcome our fears.

For this hands-on option, you will need a vase, small rocks, sand and flowers. You’ll also need to introduce the activity by telling your children a story about another child who is afraid of water. You could make up your own story, or check out your local library for a suitable children’s book.

  • Fill the vase with water (right to the top). Explain that the water represents fear. Then ask your children how someone who is afraid of water could overcome their fear. To prompt ideas, read Philippians 4:6-7 and Psalm 5:11-12.

Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Psalm 5:11-12 “But let all who take refuge in You be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your name may rejoice in You. For surely, O Lord, You bless the righteous; You surround them with Your favor as with a shield.”

  • Explain to your children that thankfulness chases fear away. In other words, when we praise God, it helps get rid of fear! Allow your children to place one flower in the vase every time they suggest something to thank or praise God for. Wipe up the water and show your children that the water (which represents fear) is going away each time they thank and praise God.
  • As you read your choice of the following verses, have your children fill the vase with rocks.

2 Samuel 22:32-33 “For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.”

Psalm 18:2 “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

Psalm 18:31 “For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God?”

Psalm 18:46 “The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!”

Psalm 56:3 “When I am afraid, I will trust in You.”

  • Ask how God is like a rock. As you wipe up the water, remind your children that when we trust God to be our “rock” and to provide us with strength and courage, He helps us overcome our fears.
  • Your children may point out that there is still water remaining in the vase. Last of all, have them pour the sand in the vase. When the vase if is full of sand, it will appear that all the water has gone. Read Jeremiah 5:21-22.

Jeremiah 5:21-22 “ ‘Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear: Should you not fear Me?’ declares the Lord. ‘Should you not tremble in My presence? I made the sand a boundary for the sea, an everlasting barrier it cannot cross. The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail; they may roar, but they cannot cross it.’ ”

  • Explain that God made the sand, and that He designed it to keep the sea where it belongs. He made the whole world and is in charge of it all. Truly, the only thing anyone should really “fear” (or be in respectful awe of) is God Himself.
  • Close by thanking God for His greatness and power. Acknowledge that He is the Lord of the universe, who created us and is in control of everything. Thank Him for chasing our fears away when we praise Him and trust in Him.

Note: To ensure the flowers last, you may wish to dispose of the sand, fill the vase with fresh water and arrange the flowers in the vase, using the rocks as filler. Throughout the days to come, as you enjoy looking at the bouquet of flowers, review the meaning of the flowers, the rocks and the sand.