An Army chaplain responded to one of the Insightful Illustrations I send out each day. This particular devotion had the theme of how God has a good purpose for animals and plants which we typically regard as undesirable nuisances. He challenged this proposition by asking, “And what about mosquitoes?”
Though he was being facetious, his point is a good one. Far more human deaths are attributable to the mosquito bites than to all other animals combined. They transmit deadly diseases (e.g. malaria and yellow fever).
To answer his question, it’s best to turn to the Bible. The Scripture explains that although God created a perfect world, this world has been marred by man’s sin and God’s curse upon it. Adam once cultivated an earth which cooperated with his efforts. But after he rebelled against God, the ground yielded thorns and thistles (Genesis 3). “Through one man sin entered the world,” wrote the apostle Paul, “and death through sin” (Romans 5:12). Sickness, disease, and death all resulted from humanity’s sin. Plants and animals which were originally friendly and a blessing, now afflicted mankind.
Fortunately, this is not the end of the story. The Scripture also teaches that part of Christ’s redemptive work is the redemption of all creation. Saint Peter declared that we look forward to a new heaven and a new earth which will be free from both sin and the curse (2 Peter 3:13).
Yet, as damaged as this world may be, the truth remains it is still filled signs of God’s ingenuity and creative genius. And even those things which plague us possess hidden treasures which may someday benefit us.
Take, for instance, that menacing mosquito. Would you believe that this sinister insect is yielding data for scientific advancement?
Two researchers at Ohio State University are studying mosquitoes in order to develop a pain-free microneedle. Professors Bharat Bhushan and Navin Kumar have noted that mosquitoes have a unique ability. They can insert their proboscis into the skin and draw blood for several minutes before the host is even aware of it. By examining the proboscis of the female Aedes vexan mosquito of North America they’ve identified four essential components for a pain-free needle. These include: the “use of a numbing agent, the use of a serrated design to the “needle,” the use of vibration during the piercing, and a combination of soft and hard parts on the proboscis.” But replicating these components the two scientists hope to develop a pain-free needle for children and for people who are phobic about needles.
Yes, even the mosquito – that scourge upon humanity, has something good to benefit humanity.
Dr. Bhushan is famous for gathering insights from nature for developing new technologies. For instance, he’s developed “high-tech surfaces inspired by butterfly wings and better fake leather and waterproof coatings inspired by plants.” He would probably agree that God’s left us a treasure trove of scientific ideas in His creation.
You know, there is a prevailing idea in people’s minds that is both false and destructive. It is the idea that chaos characterizes all of creation. From this erroneous concept people extrapolate that there is no purpose or meaning in anything.
But nothing could be further from the truth. The universe is most certainly characterized by orderliness and complexity. Just look at the tiniest component of matter – the atom. It’s highly ordered and complex. So are all the fine-tuned laws which govern our existence. So are the smallest microorganisms. God has a purpose for smallest bacterium. Are we so foolish to believe that He has no purpose or plan for us? “For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for good and not for evil; plans to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Dear Father in heaven, please open my eyes to the wonders and majesty of Your creation. Help me to see how all of nature proclaims Your glory. Open my eyes, O Lord, to Your purpose and will for my life and help me to fulfill it. Amen.
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