Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Jewel # 269 (Dec. 17, 2016)

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"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 Pika—A Mountain Farmer

"The eyes of all wait upon Thee; and Thou givest 
them their meat in due season.” 
(Psalm 145:15)

The cute, furry pika measures about seven inches long and weighs about eight ounces.  This energetic little animal is a relative of hares and rabbits and is sometimes called a coney.  In North America it is found only among the rocks high in the mountains of Western Canada and United States.

The pika’s outstanding feature is its busy activity in the summer months.  It wisely prepares food for use in winter, when the snow will lie deep and it must stay in its den with its family.  Unlike many mountain animals, it does not hibernate but does remain quite active during the cold season.

While cutting and gathering plants, flowers, berries, aspen leaves and other vegetation in summer and fall, the pika is constantly in motion. God has provided this rodent with four incisor teeth to do all this work.  The rock-dwelling pika has small litters of fewer than five young.  A lot of food is necessary, because one little pika family will need about 50 pounds of dried food during the cold winter days while confined inside the den.

Everything it cuts or gathers is brought to the entrance of the pika’s den, and, like a farmer preparing hay, it is piled in separate mounds in the sunshine to dry in the clear mountain air.  When rain threatens, it carefully picks up these piles and carries them inside, bringing them back out for further drying when the sun is shining again.

Where did this little animal get such wisdom?  And how does it know how to store its food underground so it will not become mouldy or rot?  This wisdom is given to it by God who, in creating everything “after his kind,” has provided for its unique way of life.  This is passed down from generation to generation, without the need of lessons or experiments.  If it didn’t know how to do this, it would die the very first winter of its life.  The Creator watches over everything He has made and provides for the needs of each one in His own wise way.

Living so far from civilization the pika is much like the coney spoken of in Proverbs 30:26:  “The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make their houses in the rocks.”  Eagles, hawks and many animals are enemies of this quiet little fellow, but when sheltered by the rocks into which he hurries when they fly or come close, he is perfectly safe.

When David was delivered form his enemies, he said, “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; the God of my rock; in Him will I trust” (2 Samuel 22:2-3).  He is the only refuge from Satan, our dreaded enemy.  

Do you know the Lord as the rock of your salvation? 

Love your all,
Grandpa

Jewel # 268 (Dec. 4, 2016)

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“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,

Preparing for Winter

“God saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth. . . .
Then the beasts go into dens, 
and remain in their places.”
(Job 37:6-8)

Many of God’s creatures live in areas that have cold winters, and He has provided them with special ways to survive.  Some migrate to warmer places, but an amazing number live year-round in the areas which the Creator has provided for them.  It is, of course, His provision for their special needs in the freezing temperatures that enables them to survive through the winter months.  These creatures include a great variety of birds, animals, insects, fish, seals, whales, dolphins and others.

Often a rocky cave in a hillside, soon to be buried in deep snow, is used by bears year after year, and other creatures know well enough not to try to occupy it.  In fact, in many areas all bears go into hibernation on the same day, with their spots selected well in advance.

How do they know to prepare for winter?  It is all through God-given instincts, including not only preparing a place beforehand, but also, of even more importance, by eating extra quantities of food in the fall.  The increase in weight is mostly fat and helps to keep them warm as well as nourishing their bodies while they are hibernating.

Surprisingly, it is during hibernation in the darkness of a cave that a mother bear usually gives birth to two little cubs.  In spite of the darkness, they promptly find a ready milk supply from their sleepy mother who goes right back to sleep after she nurses them.  These cubs are no bigger than small kittens.  It is one of the marvels of God’s creation that they can survive in the darkness.  They know just where to feed when they are hungry and then snuggle up to their mother’s warm body until the next feeding time.

Deer, elk and caribou do not hibernate, even in extremely cold places.  In the fall months they build themselves up with heavy eating, which not only provides fat for warmth but also causes their specially insulated hair to grow thick to provide a heavy overcoat for cold weather.  They search daily for grass, leaves and other vegetation, even in snow storms.  They have to paw through the snow with their sharp, strong hooves to uncover much of what they eat.

These are typical examples of the Creator’s care.  Psalm 36:6-7 tells us:  “O Lord, Thou preservest man and beast.  How excellent is Thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.”  

Have you thanked Him for His loving-kindness to you, and have you placed your trust in Him?  Always remember that it is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man” (Psalm 118:8).   

Love you all.
Grandpa