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A news website recently reported the story of the most amazing water beetle. Its name is Regimbartia attenuata. This tiny beetle, found natively in Japan, is routinely consumed by numerous species of frogs. What makes this creature so unique is that, just as routinely, this beetle usually survives the ordeal to live another day.

Unusual Exit Strategy

Photo: Shinji Sugiura/Kobe University

In a study led by Shinji Sugiura, an associate professor of Agrobioscience at Kobe University, the R. attenuata was fed to five different species of frogs and, 93% of the time, the beetles survived being eaten. But understand that this little beetle does not survive because its poisonous, resulting in frog regurgitation. In fact, this species of beetle travels the full length of the frogs’ digestive system and exits out the frogs’ anus.

According to Prof. Sugiura, frogs do not have teeth and tend to swallow their prey whole. Normally, this way of consumption is not a problem for the frogs because their stomach acids are too powerful to resist. Meaning, that their digestive juices can easily dissolve anything the frogs swallow. But, the R. attenuata is the exception.

It survives the destructive enzymes of the frog’s body due to its unique nature. But how, what makes it so special? The most definitive answer is summed up in two characteristics of the R. attenuate water beetle. First, this little beetle is not passive to being swallowed, and fights through to the other side. These little creatures keep moving once swallowed, somehow crawling its way through the stomach and intestines of the frog until the oppressive experience is over. By this practice, the R. attenuate normally cuts about 18 hours off the normal time spent in the frog’s gut. He gets through it in six hours instead of 24, the smallest time recorded for one of the beetles exiting being just 7 minutes.

Another characteristic of the R. attenuate is that it carries its own air – as many water beetles do. But, for this bug, that means it can manage for several hours without exposure to the air because it has its own reserves.

Keep Moving

Do you see the spiritual parallel for the Christian believer? That many times, believers fear they’ll be consumed by their struggles? Despite these fears, God preserves, and walks with them through life’s trials. Not only does God promise to stand by believers in times of trial, but aims to see them come through fiery ordeals stronger than they were before – even as Jesus came through His battle with Satan in the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:14).

Of course, like the water beetle, the Christian believer needs to “keep moving.”  The stomach of a frog is not the place to lie down and cry the blues, nor is the heat of the battle the time to grow lax.

Believers need to exercise their faith and pray faithfully through seasons of difficulty. They need to keep growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). They need to cling to God until the trial is over. And, just as the water beetle carries its own air to breathe, believers need to maintain their own relationship with God through the disciplines of prayer and

worship. Prayer is like breathing to the Christian believer. It’s a portal God provides to us through which we can find grace to help in the time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16).

Fiery Trials

Remember the five loaves and two fish? These were the only resources the disciples possessed before a hungry crowd of 5,000 (Matthew 14:13-21). Sometimes we feel like those disciples, like we are not adequately equipped for the challenges before us. Perhaps, even more, we feel like we’re those loaves and fishes themselves. Thinking not only are we inadequate, but that the challenges we face could possibly consume us.

Yet, do not forget what happened to those loaves and fishes in the process. Remember that they multiplied, fed five thousand people, and the scraps gathered afterwards were many times greater than before they were given to the thousands.

In the same way, when the Lord calls us to go through fiery trials we will not only survive it and come forth stronger than before. In the process, God will have used us to feed and bless the lives of many. So don’t fear the consuming ordeal before you. Jesus is with you, and this is His promise to you.

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (Isaiah 43:1-3).

He is with you and “nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19). He’ll make us like the burning bush. Though the raging fire engulfs us, we will not be burned, for a far greater fate awaits us. We will come out of the experience stronger than before, and God will have used us to bless and help many people.

“The flames shall not hurt thee, I only design, thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.”


Dear Father in heaven, into Your loving and all-powerful hands I commit my spirit, soul, and body. Preserve me by Your power, O God, and cause what Satan intends for evil to bring about good in my life and in the lives of others. Through Jesus Christ, Amen.

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