I spoke at our winter retreat about what we, as leaders, can learn from Proverbs 30:24. I have tried to put together a condensed summary for the blog, although I realise it is still quite long!
IF I COULD TALK TO THE ANIMALS
If we could talk to the animals, what would they say? Perhaps our pets they would laugh at how easily we fall in love with them! Or perhaps they would share with us a little part of their world. Proverbs 30:24 says
“There are four things on earth that are small but unusually wise;
Ants: they are not strong, but they store up food all summer,
Hyraxes: they are not powerful, but they make
their homes among the rocks,
Locusts: they have no king, but they march in formation,
Lizards: they are easy to catch, but they are
found even in king’s palaces.”
Ants teach us the importance of vision. There is a famous cartoon which shows a line of ants walking and an ant near the middle says ‘I hope the first ant knows where he is going.’ As leaders in children ministry it is our job to be seeking revelation and vision from God so that we can lead in the right direction. If we don’t know where we are going, then neither will the leaders below us, nor the children in our ministry!
HYRAXES (ROCK BADGERS)
Rock badgers understand their strengths and their weaknesses. They are small and slow movers; they are no match for an eagle. When an eagle flies across the sky they run into the shelters in the rocks. Their strength is not in what they can do, but in what the rock can do for them. Why do they choose rocks to run to? Rocks are strong, solid, never changing, great foundations and good hiding places.
Think about how many bible verses you know that talk about God as a rock! We need wisdom like the rock badgers to know where our security lies: in God our rock.
A single locust is not much of a threat, but when a swarm of locusts unite and demonstrate the power of community, what they cannot do alone, they can accomplish together. Similarly, the power of Christians is in community. Our unity is our strength.
I love the words on the Hillsong United We Stand CD insert: “United we stand, it’s not supposed to be a clever slogan or a fancy title. This is way bigger than that. It’s a statement, and it’s a call to action for the church, it’s a call to action for us.”
Lizards are often quite small, yet they still manage to find themselves in the most amazing places on earth. There are two things to learn from the lizards. Firstly, like the lizards, we should not limit ourselves or others. Let’s look beyond outward appearances, attitudes, and circumstances in others and ourselves in order to see what God sees: the beauty and potential of everyone. Secondly, some lizards can change colours to blend into their environments. When we are challenged, do we reflect our environment or do we reflect God? Do we hold onto God’s promises and act accordingly? Or do we react the way the world expects us to?
We may not be able to chat with a chimp in chimpanzee or converse with a polar bear or python, but we can learn about vision from the ants, know our strengths like the hyraxes, be united like the locusts and not limit ourselves or others like the lizards. They may be small animals, but they are unusually wise!