The Arctic woolly bear caterpillar lives a stop and go existence. As its name suggests, it lives above the Arctic Circle. And the exceptionally short summers (about one month) and long winters (eleven months) of this region present many challenges to the Arctic woolly. But these fierce winters do not kill this caterpillar. No, they only slow it down. This is due to some incredible God-given design features this caterpillar possesses.
For instance, God has equipped this caterpillar with the ability to produce an assortment of anti-freeze chemicals. These “cryoprotectants” allow the caterpillar to survive being frozen solid – down to temperatures exceeding minus ninety-four degrees Fahrenheit. During these long winters the caterpillar’s heart stops and its metabolism shuts down completely. This enables the Arctic woolly to live through seven winters in its larval state. Thus making it the longest living caterpillar. You see, seven years is the usual time it takes this caterpillar to build up enough resources to pupate and become an adult moth. Once reaching maturity, it has two weeks to mate and lay its eggs. These eggs hatch within a few days and restart the long life-cycle.
God has also taught this caterpillar to bask in the sun on rocks – like a reptile. This practice warms it enough to feed and store energy. Since the rocks heat faster than the soil, the Arctic woolly can reach a body temperature twenty degrees higher than the ambient air. The woolly’s long brown hairs help it to conserve its heat, thus enabling it to make the most of each day’s sunlight.
Just when you’d think the merciless Arctic winters would freeze this caterpillar out of existence, God gives it what it takes to rise again and again.
The Power of God
When I read about the “stop and go” existence of the Arctic woolly, and its ability to rise from dormancy and death, it made me wonder. Can’t God do in the church and our Nation, what He repeatedly does in nature? Certainly God can enable His creatures -and their organizations – to survive numerous and abrupt halts.
The current draconian measures of temporarily shutting down businesses and church services to inhibit Covid-19 have raised many concerns. Will the businesses be able to restart? Won’t these actions kill the economy? Will Christian believers learn to live without regular worship? Won’t this threaten to destroy the church?
Friend, I don’t want to minimize the present crisis. But I do want us to focus on God’s ability to preserve churches, businesses, and organizations when circumstances threaten to destroy them. I don’t want us to forget God’s power to resurrect that which seems to have frozen to death.
The Darkest Hour
Remember, the darkest hour of the church has already passed us. This occurred when, on the eve of Christ’s crucifixion, one of the apostles betrayed Him, the most prominent would deny Him, and all the others would forsake Him and flee. The darkest hour of the church occurred when its Founder and Builder was condemned and executed. Yet, in the depths of that crisis Jesus never panicked. Jesus never gave any hint that “all was lost.” To the contrary, Jesus spent the time comforting the disciples (John 14:1, 27), cheering them (John 16:33), and praying for their survival and success (John 17:6-26). Jesus assured them that He was in control, regardless of how things looked outwardly. He told them that He was laying down His life by His own volition and that He would take it up again once redemption was accomplished (John 10:18). And He did just that.
If Jesus could resurrect Himself (John 2:19-22) and the church, can’t he keep His church alive and well – though it might be driven underground? If God can equip a little caterpillar to repeatedly rise up after being frozen solid – again and again, can’t He revitalize our economy and help it survive? Let’s pray earnestly that He will do so.
Dear Father in heaven, rather than stew and worry over what might befall our nation and what might befall the church, we choose to pray. We pray that You will do Your miraculous work behind the scenes to resurrect that which seems to have frozen solid and died. Please bless the United States of America. Bless us with an outpouring of Your Holy Spirit and turn our hearts to You in faith and repentance and to each other in love and reconciliation. Revive the hearts of Your people and bring them to their knees in prayer and intercession. Bless our nation with prosperity, peace, and confidence in the future.
Please quell the voices of doom and raise up men and women of God to bravely lead our nation on the path of righteousness. Please remove from our government, our schools, and our media the perverse, the godless, the hypocrites, and the cowardly. Bless us, O God, with men and women after Your own heart to take up the sacred mantle of leadership and lead America from victory to victory. Amen.
(Information from: https://www.coolantarctica.com/Antarctica%20fact%20file/wildlife/Arctic_animals/arctic_woolly_bear_moth.php; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gynaephora_groenlandica)