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."
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,