Scripture informs us that we can learn life-lessons from observing God’s creation. Proverbs 6:6 says, “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways and be wise.” The proverb is admonishing the lazy man to go to work if he wants a good future. The ant serves as the metaphor in God’s lesson. I suppose that the sluggard – and all of us for that matter – consider ourselves higher on the pyramid of creatures than the ant. Who wants to be coached for success from an ant? Belonging to the class ‘insecta’ and the family ‘formicidae’ may sound like these are creatures of influence; but let’s be honest, they are ants. Nonetheless, God placed a wisdom inside of these annoying creatures that can communicate His providential plan to mankind who belong to the class ‘mammal’ and the family ‘hominidae’ (in case you were wondering).
Ants aren’t the only lower life forms that can communicate wisdom. I suppose that all of creation can be a living book of instruction if we are willing to be taught. After all, the God who wrote the Bible is the same God who created the whole world. We ought not to be surprised that His message is consistent whether in written form or in living technicolor.
I am currently learning from ducks. Yes – I said ducks. I purchased four cute little creatures almost eight weeks ago. I had a dual purpose. First, I wanted to thrill and delight my grandchildren with the fuzzy ducklings. Second, I planned to release the grown-up ducks onto the lake that is behind my home. I envisioned having permanent resident ducks that would bring me and my husband hours of enjoyment as we observed them in a natural habitat.
What I failed to comprehend was the unnatural environment that I would need to supply between the store and that natural habitat. These babies began life in a very small tub but quickly required a bigger pen. The past weeks have necessitated three upgrades to their living space. I have not only provided the house, I have provided the food, the water, the swimming tub, the heat lamp, the sanitation – and basically everything needed to sustain these ducks, who – by the way – belong to the class ‘bird’ and the family ‘anatidae.’ Don’t let that name impress you – these are not the wisest of creatures.
Every day for the past eight weeks, I have been faithful. They have wanted for nothing. Food? I fill the feeder before they even peep their need. Water? I bring the fresh, cool, refreshing liquid. They ‘fowl’ up their pen (pun intended) and I clean it up. Yet – with all the evidence that I mean them well, these guys run from me. They squawk and run from this mercy-giver. Huddled together at the edge of their habitant, they look at me as though I had ‘fowl’ intentions. They could draw near to me in confident expectation. How much less stressful their existence would be if only they could comprehend the benevolent hand of their care-taker.
Although our time together has not produced wisdom in them, I am nonetheless a little wiser. Of course, I know more about ducks. For one thing, the next time I have an idea to buy ducklings, I will let that thought ‘fly’ right out of my mind. Also, I have been regularly considering the heart of my own Heavenly Care-Taker. How many times have I misconstrued His intentions for me? How often have I run from Him rather than running toward him? How frequently do I take His abundant grace for granted? My ducks have stirred a heart of wisdom in me to acknowledge God’s compassionate care with trust and thanksgiving. Life lesson learned!