OceanSide church of Christ
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Incredible Creation: The Ant
by: Dalton Gilreath
My wife and I love going and seeing all the animals great and small at different zoos in the various places we visit. As with most, I prefer some animals over others. In fact, I would have to say that one of my least favorite creatures is the ant. As I mow the yard, I am always having to watch out for these tiny demons to avoid their terrible sting. Almost every week, I have to blow away their mounds from the edge of the sidewalk. Overall, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to do anything but step on these little guys. However, my God tells me that I can learn a valuable lesson from their ways. In the book of Proverbs we read, “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, or overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest” (6:6-8 KJV).
As much as I may not like ants, they certainly reveal the wonderful power of the Creator. The ant alone has enough design to demand a designer and refute evolutionary theory. Consider, for example, the strength of the ant. They can carry more than twenty times their own weight. That would be the equivalent of you carrying a vehicle around on your shoulders. They also leave behind a pheromone trail in order to always make it back to their mound: they have a built in GPS navigation system! And while there are many others, God mentions something in particular that he wanted us to understand about the ant: ants work very hard to harvest their food throughout the year. Interestingly, for years this was thought to be a Biblical mistake. Now we know that ants do actually harvest their food for the winter. Ants pluck seeds from certain plants and place them in storage houses underground. After centuries of research we have now learned that ants also seed, fertilize, and prune crops. They weed, harvest, and then eat them. God designed them to be quite the complex little farmers.
Before humans ever discovered the ways of the ant, God, their Creator, told us to consider their ways. We can learn a lot from the hard work of the ant. For one, each individual ant does its share of the work. Like ants, we all have a job to do in the kingdom. We may all be blessed with different talents, but each one can be used to bring God glory. When everyone does his/her part, the “colony” will grow and mature. Furthermore, even though each ant is doing an individual task, all of the ants together are working in unity for the same goal. Consider Jesus’ prayer as recorded in John 17. Did you know that He prayed for you and me in that prayer (John 17:20)? He prayed for all those who will believe on Him and, of all the things to ask God on our behalf, He prays for us to be unified (17:21). Notice the reason at the end of the verse: We must be unified so that the world will believe that Jesus truly is the son of God. There can be no doubt of the importance of unity and therefore the significance of each of us being unified in the work. Only then will others believe the Gospel message we preach.
Another lesson we learn from the laborious ant is the importance of harvesting. Our Lord references this world as a place of harvest and Christians as the workers. He says, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:37b-38). Like the ant, we need to be laborers in our harvest. Sowing the seed of the Gospel and harvesting souls for the kingdom is our mission. The Lord is always in need of more laborers. Are you answering His call for aid? Would God describe you as the ant working hard in the fields or would He categorize you as a sluggard? Let’s be sure we are working like an ant in the kingdom of God. In fact, let’s be sure we work hard in everything our “hand findeth to do” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
Animals are amazing creations of God and can teach us valuable lessons from the largest elephant to the smallest ant. Next time you see an ant or its mound, let it remind you that there is work to be done. It is my prayer that through God we can be in unity here at Oceanside with each soul doing his/her part in that work. I close these thoughts with the words of a popular hymn, “To the work, to the work, we are servants of God”.