“A giraffe can kiss the clouds because it is long, and God is long,” says Tori, age 6. Well, the Psalmist wrote that “with an outstretched arm” God’s mercy endures forever. I suppose “outstretched” qualifies as long.

“God created the horse so people could ride on it,” says Jacob, 7. “The horse takes care of its babies like God takes care of us.” Yes, God nurtures us as a mare weans its newborn foal.

Scotty, 6, likes cheetahs: “God created cheetahs because they are fast. God is everywhere, and he is fast.”

The next time you’re tempted to pull a fast one on someone, think of God as a cheetah. You may think you’re slick and fast, but at 70 miles per hour, the cheetah can run by you like you’re standing still. You can never outrun God because as Scotty said, “God is everywhere.”

It’s hard to imagine how a deadly cobra could remind us of God, but Houston, 6, made the connection: “God loves everyone, even the bad animals.” Houston, this is the heart of the good news. The Bible says, “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). Ouch! We all are born with the venom of selfishness. Good deeds can never change our nature. In fact, we can easily become proud of our humanitarian efforts.

Only a new birth and heart given by God to those who trust the Lord Jesus as their savior can remove the poison from our hearts. Then and only then can we show compassion and mercy to needy people without becoming proud of our goodness. When people know the source of their goodness, they act in true humility and often without recognition when performing charitable acts.

“God created the zebra for their stripes,” says Cade, 8. “The black stripes show sin, but the white stripes show washed-away sin.” Courtney, 6, also chose the zebra but adds, “They whipped Jesus, and it hurt God.”

After the prophet Isaiah wrote that the Messiah would be “wounded for our transgressions” and “bruised for our iniquities,” he wrote, “and by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Before Jesus was sentenced to death by crucifixion, his captors beat and mocked him. As for the color of sin, Isaiah also wrote, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18).

Jeremy, 9, says the tiger reminds him of God “because he is a hunter, and God hunts us so we can become Christians.” Not only is there none righteous, but “There is none who seeks after God,” wrote the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans. Like a stalking tiger in pursuit of its prey, God hunts us down. Many who have tried in vain to outrun God’s persistent pursuit know him as a stalking tiger or “The Hound of Heaven.”

The beginning of this autobiographical poem written by Francis Thompson reads as follows: “I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;/ I fled Him, down the arches of the years;/ I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways/ Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears/ I hid from Him, and under running laughter.

Think about this: God wants you to soar like an eagle.

Memorize this truth: “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles” (Isaiah 40:31a). Ask this question: Are you soaring through life on God’s updrafts of grace?

By Carey Kinsolving