Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

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Written by Peter Langbroek
Justin stood behind the table waiting for his classmates to gather around. The experiment--a model of the water cycleÑworked. He had also made a poster of the water cycle. He had his notes in front of him. He saw it rain outside of the portable. Justin was excited. He and his mom had painted the shoebox with a background of sky, mountains, trees, flowers, and grass. They then attached a 2-litre plastic Coke bottle to the box. Just after lunch hour, Justin put the ice in the bottle and a bowl of warm water underneath.

"I want everyone to go around the table," said Mr. Den Boer to the class. "The smaller ones first and the taller ones behind them--quietly and orderly, please." Everyone scurried around the table. Mr. Den Boer stood behind them in front of Justin. He had a Bible in his hand.

"Now," said Mr. Den Boer, "let's listen while Justin explains the purpose of his experiment and explains what a water cycle is."

Justin glanced at his notes and looked at his classmates. "The purpose of the experiment is to show you how a water cycle works. A water cycle is when water from large bodies of water, like oceans or the Great Lakes, evaporates into the air. The water vapour then condenses into clouds. The clouds move over land. When the water droplets or ice crystals in the cloud become heavier than gravity, they fall to the ground as rain, snow, hail, or sleet. We call that precipitation. Finally, the water soaks into the ground and then runs off through streams and rivers back to the large body of water."

Everyone was looking at the model. They noticed there were large drops of water that had formed under the Coke bottle. "Hey," Darren blurted out, "a drop just fell into the bowl!"

"Can anyone," interrupted Mr. Den Boer, "explain what the bowl of water represents in the water cycle? Look at the poster Justin made." Hands went up. "Ria?"

"The bowl stands for the ocean."

"What does the bottle with ice stand for, Jason?"

"It stands for clouds," Jason replied.

"Show me what precipitation is." Just then, everyone saw a drop plop into the bowl. The children chuckled.

"Right now, Mr. Den Boer!" exclaimed Mindy. Mr. Den Boer smiled.

"I'm going to ask you a very obvious question, Grade 5. But first, let's go outside. It's raining but you won't melt. Meet me at the back of the field in front of the fence near the stream. Get your coats first. It's not summer."

In seconds, the children put on their coats and ran out of the portable to the back of the field. Mr. Den Boer put on his coat and grabbed his whistle from the desk door. He went out with a Bible in his hand. The children were laughing and fooling around by the time Mr. Den Boer arrived. Then they heard the shriek of the whistle. They stood still and looked at Mr. Den Boer.

"What I want to do is read Isaiah 55: 8-11 while you are very quietly listening to the stream gurgling and you're looking at the sky. Feel the rain touch your faces." He read,

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my
ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the
earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than
your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from
heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and
maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the
sower, and bread to the eater: so shall my word be that goeth
forth out of my mouth: it shall not return to me void, but it
shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the
thing whereto I sent it.

Mr. Den Boer stopped and was silent for a moment. The children looked down again. "Here's my obvious question: Who designed and controls the water cycle?"

ÒGod," everyone replied.

"Justin showed us a model of the water cycle which God designed," Mr. Den Boer continued. "God, in this passage, uses the water cycle to teach us something very high and very deep. Look up. His thought and ways are higher than the skies, higher than outer space. Now look up again and feel the rain touch your face." Everyone looked up.

ÒJust as God sent these clouds to give the earth water so plants can grow, He sends His Word to rain on us. Now listen quietly to the stream." Everyone listened.

ÒThe stream is bringing the water to the river. And the river will bring back the water into the Pacific Ocean, where it came from. God has a purpose for the Word He has rained on us. It comes to bless the world. That Word will return to Him like the river returns rain back to the ocean."

Mr. Den Boer looked at Justin. "Justin, run ahead of the class, look up Isaiah 55 and be ready to read next week's memory verse."

Justin ran ahead of the class. He climbed the steps of the portable and entered. The class was already streaming in and taking their coats off when he put the Bible on the lectern. Mr. Den Boer arrived too, the Bible in his hand. He said to the class after they had settled in their desks: "Justin will read Isaiah 55: 6,7, next week's memory verse. I want you to go home and talk to your parents about who God will receive through His Word, according to His thoughts and ways. Then discuss what God promises in these verses to those who seek Him. I will write these questions on the board and then you will write them in your agenda."

Justin read Isaiah 55: 6,7. He had learned a lot more than the water cycle. "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon."

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