Thought For Today

I am so glad that you have found this site and I hope you will find encouragement and joy as you read through my thoughts on God, family and life.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Squirrels and God's Plan For Us

Today the sun rose and the sky was clear all day.  Living in Minnesota, we have around 40% of the winter days shrouded in clouds.  Although the cloudy days usually bring the warmer weather, they sometimes bring with them a sort of mental and emotional depression over extended periods of time.  I believe the clinical terminology is “Seasonal Depression.”  I recall telling Anne this morning on the way to church, “I would rather have cold weather with sunshine, than cloudy days with warmer weather. 

Winter not only brings the cold and snow, it also brings with it other challenges that are to be expected for those living in the North Country.  One look at our roads tells us that the cold temperatures take a toll on them as well.  As the asphalt cools and freezes, and then it contracts, cracks appear where they are separated into sections.  When the cracks form, they allow moisture to seep in, and eventually the water freezes and causes the road surface to push apart even more.  Living in the Mississippi River Valley, we constantly drive by large and steep cliffs that have warning signs of falling rocks overhead.  There again, the water does its work by separating large chunks of stone that eventually break loose and tumble down the hillside, sometimes even on to the roads.  This usually occurs most frequently in the early spring, when there are extreme temperature differences during the day and night.  I have seen boulders the size of cars laying near the edge of the road that have broken loose.  I recall the day I swerved to miss a basketball size rock on the road that had fallen from a 300-foot cliff. 

Now, I have mentioned some of the darker sides of winter, but there is a brighter aspect to it as well.  During the winter, the soil gets a chance to rest, sleep and replenish itself.  The upper surface freezes, but lower in the earth, it stays around 54 degrees, pretty much all year long.  Animals that hibernate, many times dig down to these levels to keep warm, and they are given a chance to rest during the harshest periods of winter.  God has designed their bodies in such a  way that they can automatically lower their internal thermostats, which means that they consume less energy for survival. 

Some species sleep throughout the winter, while others like the squirrel and chipmunk awaken on warmer winter days to harvest the food caches that they have put away.  The squirrels many times bury their nuts just below the surface of the ground, and when a winter thaw arrives, they dig with delight in the attempt to find the nuts that they buried.  They usually find enough to survive, but as in all things, God allows for a balance of nature to exist.  The squirrel is born with a poor memory.  They cannot remember where they have buried all their nuts.  The unique result is, these lost nuts in turn allow for a new tree to sprout in the spring, courtesy of the squirrels in the area.  The new trees eventually produce more nuts at a later time in their growth, this in turn provides the food for generations of squirrels to come.  And so, as I have said, in God’s plan they are fed, but some would call it a poor design (forgetting) in their makeup.  But to our eternal father, (God) this path allows for the survival of a species.  The delicate balance is maintained, and the food supplied allows for life to take place even in the harshest of climates.

This little squirrel not only provides for itself, by having a poor memory, it gives life to many forest animals as well.  For instance, the deer harvest the acorn in the early fall.  It is one of their most favorite foods.  It has an abundance of energy within each acorn that provides for the fat buildup that is needed for the long winter ahead.  As one learns more about nature, we can see how God’s master plan is revealed.  Like that of our wildlife, God too has a plan for each of us.  He desires to take care and provide for us the needed things in life that will make us contented and happy.  This is not always, what we think is the key to that formula. 

I encourage you to seek God today, and ask him what his plan is for you.  Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God has a plan for each of us, a plan that will prosper and not harm us, a plan to give us hope and a future.