Animals seem to receive advanced warnings of approaching danger. What mysterious power guides them?
Take, for instance, the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake (9.3 magnitude) that triggered multiple tsunamis along many coastlines. Over 230,000 people perished in the tsunamis. In contrast, far fewer animals died. They seemed to sense that danger was at hand. Eye-witnesses saw elephants, flamingos and many other wild animals flee to higher ground hours before the killer waves rushed in. Even domesticated animals and pets fled from the coming destruction.
In 2001, oceanographers were monitoring the travels of sharks throughout the season that saw Hurricanes Gabrielle and Charlie. As each storm approached the trackers observed the sharks moving away from the coast to deeper waters. Who alerts animals of approaching catastrophe and guides them to the appropriate action?
Animals also mysteriously know what natural remedies to eat when they are sick. For instance, chimpanzees have been observed chewing the bark of a certain tree when afflicted with stomach and intestinal viruses. They are cured within a day. They also chew leaves of other trees that have demonstrated medicinal powers. How do they know this?
God will not fail to provide for us and care for us and guide us along life’s journey.
Female elephants travel miles to consume the leaves of a small tree when the time has come for them to deliver their calves. Botanists have determined that the tree contains a powerful labor-inducing chemical. Even some women in Africa have used these leaves when time for delivery comes.
During outbreaks of malaria sparrows are known to build their nests with leaves of the India’s krishnachura tree. But the leaves are not for building only. The sparrows eat these leaves from their nest – leaves that contain quinine, which kills the malaria-causing protozoan, plasmodium.
Asian elephants and wild boars eat the tough roots of trees from the family ligusticum. They then spit out the root-saliva mix and apply it to their feet. Scientists have discovered that this “lotion” acts as an insecticide against parasites.
How do animals know to do such things? Do we actually believe elephants, chimps, boars and sparrows have learned these things or been taught them by their ancestors? Some unseen force must be guiding them!
Who is it that guides European eel from the Sargasso Sea where it spends most of its life to its spawning places in the rivers and fresh water streams across Europe – a 6,000-mile journey? What about the arctic tern on its 22,000-mile migration from pole to pole, achieving a life of perpetual daylight? Who guides the hummingbird on its migration from Nova Scotia to Central and South America and back including non-stop flights 700 miles across the Gulf of Mexico – with its wings beating 70 times a second? And who guides the delicate monarch butterfly, who returns from parts of Canada to the same forest west of Mexico City that its grandparents had spent the previous winter? What invisible intelligence not only guides this butterfly to the same forest, but even to the same tree in which its grandparents nested – a place neither it nor its parents have ever seen?*
Why do we ignore the obvious – the obvious reality of what Jesus said in Matthew 6:25-34? God our Heavenly Father does care for His creation. God does clothe the grass of the field and feeds the birds of the air – without any planning or worries on their part about tomorrow. And if God so cares for the lives of all these creatures, will He fail to do immensely more for us whom He made in His own image?
God will not fail to provide for us and care for us and guide us along life’s journey. Jesus assures us that He will take care of all those things that are dear to our hearts. But He asks us to take care of those things that are dear to the heart of God.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33, NKJV).
Dear Father in heaven, thank You for loving me and caring for every detail of my life. Help me not to become consumed by worrying over the things You already plan to provide for me. Instead, may I be consumed by the pursuits that are dear to Your heart and will last for all eternity. Amen.
*(Facts from Why Do Pandas Do Handstands, by Augustus Brown, Isaac Asimov’s Book of Facts, and “The Magnificent Migrating Monarch,” Creation ex Nihilo 20(1):29-30)