Lessons from some Amazing Creatures
An article appeared in the news recently about a spider native to Vietnam. It’s the Rolled-up Leaf Spider, officially named Poltys mouhoti. This spider looks like no other. With a long stem-like appendage, a green and brown color, and an irregularly-shaped body, this spider looks just like a dried up leaf with a stem when withdraws its legs. This is its defense from predators while it rests during the day.
Yet during the night, when visual camouflage is useless, the Rolled-up Leaf Spider spins a new orb web and catches prey. After eating or storing its catch, it consumes the web before morning.
This is just one of many examples of design features in animals which help them survive in the wild against larger and more aggressive predators. Here are some others which I’ve never covered before.
One is the Malayan Leaf Frog, AKA the Long-Nosed Horned Frog. Its design features include a grayish-brown color and leaf-like projections which cover its eyes and nose. These features make it indistinguishable from the dead leaves it nestles in while waiting to ambush prey. This camouflage conceals the frog from both predators and prey.
Another is the caterpillar of the Pink Underwing Moth of Australia. This creature doesn’t use camouflage. Rather it has the frightening picture of a skull with huge eyes and teeth on its bulbous head. This terrifying image is effective in scaring away hungry birds.
A fourth such creature which I’ve never covered is Macrocilix maia moth of Southeastern Asia. When this moth lands and spreads its wings, it looks like two flies feasting on bird droppings. While birds might be attracted to the flies, they’re repelled by the bird feces.
What lessons can we learn from these marvels of creation? Well, the most obvious is that only a supremely wise and intelligent Creator could have made them. God has clearly designed these creatures for survival and success in the world.
Now, I have carefully listed their camouflage and mimicry images as “design features.” This is a far more scientific term than the more popular term “adaptation.” For, “adaptation” suggests that these creatures manipulated their own genetic code to make themselves either invisible or scary to predators. Yet there’s not a shred of evidence anywhere in earth’s biosphere that any living organism is capable of self-genetic engineering. To believe this is possible constitutes blind faith or belief in “magic without a magician.” Nor could such a wasteful and haphazard process of “natural selection” have created the artwork which these creatures display. God designed these creatures for success and survival.
And doesn’t this suggest another important lesson? If God has equipped far simpler animals for success in life, isn’t it reasonable to conclude that He has done the same for those He calls His own beloved children (1 John 3:1)? If we apply the logic of Jesus (found in Matthew 6:25-30), God will most certainly do so.
Therefore, none of us should ever believe himself or herself to be useless, worthless, or hopeless. God has designed us for success and survival. The Scripture declares that God has endowed all of us with gifts, talents, and strengths (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:12-30) to accomplish His purpose for our lives. God has set us up for success and we are perfectly rational to have a positive outlook for our own future. Would a God who’s already demonstrated such unconditional love for us (Romans 5:6-8) orchestrate our arrival in this world without any plan for us to follow or any provision for our success? Not likely. No, what God does for every other creature, He will most certainly do for us.
A third lesson, is this. God is a God of justice. True, He equips predators with the ability to catch and kill their prey. But He also gives those prey a fighting chance. Just look at the fossil record. How did such ferocious and supremely-designed predators like T-Rex, saber-toothed tigers, and Megalodon not take over the world? Why did they all go extinct – like so many other superbly designed “killing machines”?
The reason is that God is forever watching over and caring for His creation. He makes the world an even playing field. God does this particularly where human beings are concerned. He gives a fatal flaw to tyrants, He makes the violent swallow their own medicine, and He ensures that the weak and gentle people have a defense and refuge.
So never despair when evil appears to prevail and reign. God alone reigns and His purpose will prevail. “Cease striving and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10).
Give heed to the words spoken by the greatest and most humble woman of all time. “God has scattered those who were proud in their hearts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones, but has exalted those who are humble. He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent away the rich empty-handed. He has given help to Israel His servant and remembered His mercy” (Luke 1:51-53). Therefore, always have faith in God and never despair.
PRAYER: Dear Father in heaven, I trust in Your love, wisdom, and power to provide for me, protect me, and to make my path prosperous and productive. Execute Your plan and fulfill Your purpose in my life. Grant that I will not be alarmed by the threats of others or by the success of their wicked schemes. Remind me, O God, that nothing in all creation can ever separate me from Your love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
(Information from: https://www.odditycentral.com/animals/this-spider-masquerades-as-a-fallen-leaf-to-avoid-predators.html; https://www.odditycentral.com/animals/the-malayan-leaf-frog-lives-up-to-its-name.html; https://www.odditycentral.com/animals/this-caterpillar-mimics-a-scary-skull-to-keep-predators-at-bay.html; https://www.odditycentral.com/animals/this-asian-moth-is-probably-natures-camouflage-master.html)