Safe on the Rock
Today let’s visit a tide pool by the ocean. The tide has gone out and it is a good time to explore! See how the ocean water is trapped in the rocks? Let’s see what is living here.
I don’t see anything, you say. Just rocks and shells. Look more closely—these rocks are covered with living creatures. These purple shells are mussels, and the gray bumps are barnacles. They will keep tight shut when the tide is out, but look closely at the ones that are underwater. Oh! It is wiggling its legs! you say excitedly. Yes, the barnacles use their legs to pull food to its mouth. But if you try to touch it, it closes right up!
It feels like a rock, you say. Is it really an animal? Yes, and a very interesting animal, too. When it is first hatched it floats about in the ocean and other animals eat it. Are some floating here? you ask, staring into the pool. Probably, but they are very tiny and hard to see. As they grow bigger, they change into a little bubble shape with legs and go hunting for a safe place to live. It has to be something solid where it can attach and build its hard little house. Like on this rock? you say. Wow! There are hundreds of them here. That’s right. These barnacles have all found a safe place to live together. It seems that the floating ones can smell where the other barnacles are, and so that helps them find a safe place. If they don’t find a home quickly, they will soon be eaten or die of starvation.
Look, they are eating again! you say. I didn’t know barnacles were so interesting. And they have a wonderful lesson to teach us, too. Just like the barnacles make their homes on the rock, we are safe when we make our home in the Lord. Like how the wise man built his house on the rock, you say. That’s right. Jesus said that whoever hears what He says, and obeys Him, will be safe when storms and troubles come.
What will it be like for these barnacles when the waves come crashing in? Wouldn’t they be safe, because they are stuck on really tight? you ask. Yes, these are safe, but I wouldn’t want to be a floating barnacle and get tossed up on the beach or eaten by a fish! If we don’t build our life on Jesus, that’s just what happens to us. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to do the wrong thing when other children are doing it? And how it is easy to believe something just because someone else believes it? That’s what it is like to be a child. God wants you to grow up safely, so He gives you parents to protect you, and He talks to your heart about doing right. Just like a floating barnacle, you have to make your decision where to build your life. Where have other people ended up? Who are the happy ones that are safe when troubles come? It is time to look around and see where the safe rock is, and build your life on what is solid and good. Then you won’t get tossed around and get into lots of trouble!