Friday, January 20, 2012

Jewel # 102 (Jan 20, 2012)

"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 Unusual Opossum

"Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him" (Psalm 33:8).

What is this strange creature coming down the forest trail that looks like a miniature gray trolley car loaded with passenger all hanging on the outside?  It turns out to be a mother opossum (often called possum), carrying eight babies who are clinging to her back and her long, bare tail that she arches over her back.  The mother opossum is very careful about her big family.

Female opossums are the only wild animals in North America that have pouches (like kangaroos).  Although the most common one grows to about the size of a house cat, baby opossums are no bigger that a bumblebee when they are born.  Within two minutes they smell their mother's milk located in her pouch in the outer skin of her abdomen and climb in, remaining there for two to three moths.  Then for a few more months they are given piggy-back rides while their mother introduces them to other foods - fruits, nuts, insects, fish, frogs and earth worms.  They mostly hunt for food at night.

One thing the mother doesn't have to teach them is how to "play possum."  This is an instinct the Creator gave them when He first placed them on the earth, and it is carried on from generation to generation.  When danger threatens, instead of trying to run away, they fall into unconsciousness and their bodies become stiff, their jaws drop open and saliva foams around the mouth, their teeth are bared, and their eyes are closed or half open.  They look just like a dead animal and even give off a dead animal odour.

A fox or coyote might come up to one, but the opossum is usually left alone because the attacker is not interested in dead meat.  Opposums remain this way for forty minutes to four hours before returning to consciousness and continuing their normal lives.  Isn't it wonderful how the Creator has given them this protection?  

As we consider the various habits God has given all His creatures, we are amazed.  One important provision He has given each of us is an intelligence to understand His precious Word, the Bible.  It is there we find that He loves us, and He knows all about us.  We also find that we are lost sinners.  Yet His desire is that we might live forever in His heavenly home, although we cannot go there with our sins.

Does the Bible provide a remedy for us?  Yes.  In Titus 2:13-14 we read of "the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all sin."  If we admit to Him that we are sinners and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ who died to save us from our sins, God will then accept us as His very own sons and daughters forever and ever.  How important it is to do this right now!     

Love you,

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