Before your students arrive, view this video in advance (DO NOT SHOW IT TO YOUR STUDENTS AT THIS TIME) and make a quick sample puzzle. Keep the solution a mystery for the students until Step 4 [2:02]:
Impossible Puzzle Trick
After your students arrive, show them the sample impossible puzzle, moving the flap back and forth and acting perplexed about the size of the flap and the size and placement of the opening. This cannot be possible! Or at least it looks like it is impossible.
In orphanages all over the world, there are impossible situations. Two-year-old Abraham was kept in an orphanage in Mexico. Not only was he blind, but his entire body was in a cast, and he suffered brain damage—this as a result of injuries from severe abuse. For this young child, any hope of a loving family and promising future seemed impossible. Hold up the puzzle and move the flap back and forth.
- If you were in Abraham’s situation, how do you think you would feel? (Answers will vary; unloved, abandoned, hopeless, scared, like he was awaiting death, etc.)
All of the children at the orphanage came from situations that looked hopeless. Some were abandoned in the jungle as newborns and left to die. Some were left at a hospital at birth because of extreme handicap issues. Some were suffering the effects of extreme neglect and abuse. Surviving long enough to live a full life looked impossible for each of these children. Hold up the puzzle and move the flap back and forth.
Perhaps you have experienced or are facing something that looks impossible. Maybe it is passing a test or getting along with an enemy. Maybe it is a struggle at home. Hold up the puzzle and move the flap back and forth.
- What situations or experiences in your life or the lives of others look impossible to you today? (Answers will vary.)
- What gives you the feeling that these situations or experiences are truly impossible? (Answers will vary. Some might comment that they haven’t seen miraculous outcomes in person, or that it is easier to believe bad things than good.)
- How do you feel when you are facing something that looks impossible? (Answers will vary but might include sadness, hopelessness, fear, etc.)
Joshua, the Gibeonites, and the Israelites were outnumbered against a strong alliance of five kings and their mighty cities. Survival for the Israelites looked impossible. Hold up the puzzle and move the flap back and forth. But when God is involved, we cannot base our estimation of the outcome on what we see or fear. Here is an account of how something that is impossible to man became possible when God is in it.