This is an object lesson using a sponge and a bowl of water to teach children that Jesus has the power to give you peace over any problem. The suggested scripture verse to reinforce the teaching is Isaiah 26:3
Show the dry sponge. Sponges are great at soaking up spilled liquids like water, milk, or juice. Squeeze the sponge to show there is no water in it. Pour some water on in and comment on how the sponge soaks it up and no water drips out.
Sponges soak up water well, but they can only hold so much. Dip the sponge in the water until it is full and hold it out in front of the children. Pour some water on the sponge and comment on how the water now runs off because there is no more room. In order to get more water in this sponge, I have to squeeze out what is in it and start again. (Demonstrate.)
For those of you who know Jesus as your Savior, if you’re not careful, you can become kind of like this sponge. When problems come your way, you can “soak up” the problems by focusing your attention on them and not God. Things like worry, fear, anger, frustration, and resentment will begin to build inside you and start to come out. The more you think about the problems, the more they will impact your life in a bad way. You won’t have peace, calmness, or patience to deal with them and they’ll begin to take control of you until you get overwhelmed.
That’s not what God wants. In fact, he says in Isaiah 26:3 that God will keep you in perfect peace if your mind is stayed on him. God wants you to focus on him and not your problems. When you go through a problem, take time to think about how big and powerful God is and remember the great love he has for you. Understand that his power is available to you to help you with any problem you face. When you do have one, talk to God, but before mentioning it, think about how great he is. He never changes. God has the same power today that he had when doing the miracles in the Bible. When you focus your attention on God, it’s kind of like squeezing the sponge.
Just because you focus on God doesn’t mean the problem automatically goes away. The problem won’t usually change that quickly, but what will change is you. God will give you his peace and help remove fear, worry, or frustration about the problem. Remember, Jesus has the power to give you peace over any problem you face. In order to get that peace, you have to focus on God and not the problem.