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,

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