Monday, April 04, 2016

Jewel # 244 (April 2, 2016)

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Joshua diving for shells in the Bahamas ————————————————————


"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,

A Lovely Snail — the Conch

“Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight.”
(Hebrews 4:13)

Perhaps the most beautiful of all sea snail shells is one that is not usually thought of as belonging to a snail; it is the queen conch.  You may have one of these prized, heavy shells in your home.  It is spiral shaped and beautifully coloured in creamy pink with rose and tan.  The large end of the shell is worth examining.  It has large, star-shaped spikes spiralling with gradually smaller ones until it ends in a point.   The fan-like lip of the shell is lovely with its pretty colours.  No one but the Lord God, the Creator of all, could design such a beautiful home for such a lowly creature.

Conches live in the world’s shallow seas where they eat plants and grasses that grow in shallow water and algae that grow on rocks.  They lie flat on the ocean floor, withdrawn into their shells except when travelling or eating.  A conch’s meaty body can move in and out of the shell but remains attached to it.  Two, long, antenna-like stalks emerge first, and each of these has an eye on its tip.  Its mouth is underneath these two stalks.  It uses a claw on its body to move about on the sea bottom.  Its shell is made from calcium carbonate which is secreted from a part of the conch’s body.

The queen conch lays many eggs in long strings.  About a week later, the young veligers hatch and are already equipped with miniature shells.  They swim in the ocean for about three weeks before settling to the bottom to develop mature bodies.  Most will grow to be about a foot long and weigh about five pounds.

An interesting feature of the conch’s life is its friendship with the little conch fish that swims right into the conch’s shell in the daylight and then leaves at night.  Another visitor is a small crab that clings to the conch’s lip and remains there, gathering food that floats by.

The Bible tells us, “Thou the Lord hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11).  We can understand His pleasure in these creatures and the beautiful homes He has given them.  But did you know that He has taken pleasure in creating you?  He tells us this in Proverbs 8:31: “My delights were with the sons [and daughters] of men.” 

His pleasure in creating us does not end there.  It is also His desire that we find our delight in Him, the One who is so loving to us that He died to save us from our sins.  

Have you answered this wonderful invitation of God?  

Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.  Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him” (Psalm 37:4-5).    

Love you all,
Grandpa

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