Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Woods Hole, MA) recently published a fascinating paper on microorganisms that live deep below the ocean bottom. Yes, I’m not talking about microbes that live on the ocean floor, but thousands of feet below it, embedded in the very crust of the earth.
Survival In Darkness
How is it possible for anything – even a one-celled organism – to live a life embedded in rock? In this forbidden domain where food is non-existent and heat and pressures are intense?
Yet scientists, scrutinizing rock samples from the crust beneath the Southern Indian Ocean found specimens of diverse lifeforms. And by examining the RNA of these organisms and its instructions for different metabolic processes, they’ve been able to answer some of these questions.
The scientists discovered that some of these organisms can process “nitrogen and sulfur to generate energy, produce Vitamin E and B12, recycle amino acids, and pluck out carbon from hard-to-breakdown compounds.” They even have the ability to stockpile carbon in their cells for times of exceptional leanness.
The scientists suspect that some nutrients reach these cells from seawater seeping through fissures in the rock. This must be the case, since some of the organisms they found are heterotrophs – organisms which can only get carbon from other organic material. Yet, thousands of feet deep in the rock is not a likely place to find it. Still, they survive.
Oceanographers often describe the bottom of the ocean as a desert, almost devoid of nutrients to sustain life. How much scarcer food must be deep within the oceanic crust? Yet, there God sustains a vast community of diverse living things. Truly, God is not hampered at all from meeting the needs of His creatures in times and circumstances of exceptional leanness.
In the Bible, God sustained Moses atop Mount Sinai for possibly eighty straight days without food or water (See Deuteronomy 9:9, 18). Somehow the glory and presence of God gave life to him so that he suffered no ill effects from what would have otherwise killed him. And far from being diminished from the ordeal, when Moses finally came down from the mountain, his face radiated the glory of God (Exodus 34:29-30).
Also, in the life of Elijah, God sustained the prophet for forty straight days from the nutrition of two meals of bread and water (1 Kings 19:8). If God decrees we will live, we will live – regardless of our circumstances.
Of course, the greatest biblical example of God’s sustaining power occurred in the bleak wilderness of Sinai. There God met the food, water, and clothing needs of more than two million people for forty years (Deuteronomy 29:5-6). Now there were times when the Israelites did get hungry and thirsty. In fact, God purposely allowed them to feel some of these discomforts. Why? So that they would know it was not food and drink that was sustaining them, but God’s very word and decree (Deuteronomy 8:3).
Furthermore, God has decreed life to you. He has promised to supply all your needs according to His riches in glory (Philippians 4:19). He has promised to keep and protect your faith and your soul (Psalm 121:5-8; Luke 22:31-32; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24). Regardless of how scarce the visible resources might be, His grace will be sufficient for you (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Dear Father in heaven, here and now I acknowledge You as my Creator and Sustainer. I choose to trust in Your infallible promises rather than give heed to this world’s tormenting fears. You pledged to save me and to sustain me no matter what. You have also confirmed Your love for me by delivering up Your only Son for my salvation. What can you possibly withhold from me that is necessary for my salvation? Nothing. Therefore, nothing will ever separate me from Your all powerful and destiny-controlling love. Thank You, O God, for Your great love and faithfulness. Amen.
(Information from: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200311121820.htm)