Sunday, May 26, 2013

Jewel # 138 (May 26, 2013)

"And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord 
of hosts, in that day when I
make up MY JEWELS."
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren,

The Loggerhead Turtle

"By Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth. 
 . . . All things were created by Him, and for Him."
(Colossians 1:16

If you were on a Caribbean Island beach some dark night in early spring or late summer, you might become aware of a number of large creatures coming out of the surf.  They drag themselves with much effort over the sand, higher and higher, until they are above the highest tidewater mark.  These are female loggerhead turtles, and each weighs close to 500 pounds.

Soon each one is busily scooping sand with her flippers, making a hole about seven inches wide and almost two feet deep.  After an hour of this tiresome work, she will rest awhile, then place herself over this nest and begin depositing her eggs one at a time every few seconds.  Usually one to two hundred are deposited and look like ping-pong balls.

Next she scoops the sand back into the hole and pats it down firmly.  Then she scatters the excess sand over the area, making it look so natural that no one would suspect there was a nest of turtle eggs underneath.  If you could get closer, you might see tears running from her eyes.  This is a provision God gave these turtles for washing the sand out of their eyes.  When the job is complete, she returns to the sea, soon disappearing in the waves.

In about two months the eggs will hatch.  Before hatching, each baby turtle develops an "egg tooth" on the end of its nose.  This is used to break out of the shell.  It might seem they would die in their nest deep in the sand, but they work their way to the top, which might take several days.  As the baby turtles come to the surface, they run as fast as they can to the ocean.  Since they are only about the size of a silver dollar, they must run fast, because there are many creatures waiting to eat them.  Birds, crabs, rats and other enemies chase after them, so that very few of these baby turtles make it across the sand alive.  In the water there are sharks, fish of all kinds and more birds.  Perhaps only six out of the whole nest manage to survive.  In five to eight years, survivors reach full size.  Then they are safe from natural enemies and live to an old age.

For most of us, our lives are not as full of danger as these creatures' lives are.  God has graciously provided many benefits for each of us and cares for us most lovingly.  He knows all our needs and activities too.  It is written in the Bible, "Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee" (Ecclesiastes 11:9).  This is followed by the instruction, "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not" (Ecclesiastes 12:1).  What excellent God-given advice this is for us to follow.

Love you all,

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Jewel # 137 (May 11, 2013)


To my dear grandchildren,

The Gentle Tapir

"I have made the earth, the man and the beast . . .  
by My great power and by My outstretched arm."
(Jeremiah 27:5)

If you were in the wilds of Central America, South America or Southeast Asia and found yourself face-to-face with a strange brown animal known as the tapir, the first thing you probably would notice would be that it looks much like an overgrown pig.  It has a short, heavy body with a short tail, a thick neck and a nose that serves as a short movable trunk.  All tapirs have oval-shaped ears with white tips.  

It would be a special treat if a baby tapir were there too.  They are really cute, weighing only about 15 pounds when born and having white stripes all along their backs and sides for God-given camouflage purposes.

If you didn't show any sign of wanting to hurt the tapir, you would find it wouldn't hurt you either.  The Creator has given it a shy and gentle nature, and they would rather run than fight.  Their food includes twigs and leaves of trees and shrubs, water plants, grass and fruit, and they never kill another animal unless in self-defense.

These animals stay close to their homes but make paths through the thick jungle.  Some lead to water holes, which they visit morning and evening, enjoying a swim and wallowing in the mud to get rid of ticks and other pests.  They sometimes walk along the bottom of these ponds completely submerged.

Their only enemy is the fearsome jaguar.  However, when a jaguar springs on a tapir, it is taken on an unexpected, rough ride ride through low brush where it will usually be knocked off.  But if it hangs on, the tapir will jump into deep water, submerging beneath the surface.  At that point the jaguar gives up and the tapir is the winner.

Tapirs remind us of the great variety of animals placed on earth by the Creator and His untiring care and provisions for all.  We know, however, that that the lives of animals are for this world only, but God has given to each of us a never-dying soul and provided a way in  which that life can be spent happily in heaven with Him.

A few verses from the Bible explain this.  First, we need to understand clearly that "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).  That is a tragic statement, but thankfully we are told, "God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). We also read this wonderful statement: "Being justified by faith [in the Lord Jesus as our Saviour], we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).

If you want that peace and everlasting life in heaven, believe these important Bible verses.  

Love you all,