Consider the Ant

Proverbs 6:6-8 Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.

Proverbs 30:25-27 The ants are a people not strong, yet they provide their food in the summer…

There was a little trail of ants coming out of the wall outlet next to the kitchen sink. They had found a pretzel crumb that had fallen under the edge of the microwave, and were taking it away bit by bit. Proverbs says we should learn from the ant. But, believe me, the first thing we did was clean up the counter and shoot some ant spray into the outlet.

It wasn’t until I sat down to write this devotional that I remembered I had been doing a series on the creation, things in nature, and how we could use them to remind us of God’s character. People usually think of teamwork when they think of ants. Or they think of food storage. Or maybe they think of the queen.

But what I think of is that they are small. Some ants are so tiny they can go into the smallest crack – sometimes cracks water won’t pour through! I can’t think of an animal smaller than an ant that still qualifies as an animal. (I don’t count plankton or water bears as animals.) Even though they are small, ants still tackle some pretty big jobs. That little piece of pretzel was easily 100 times bigger than any one of those ants. When I was a child, I remember sitting with friends in the park and watching ants carry away a dead beetle larger than my thumb. And carpenter ants – they’ll take down your whole house from the inside out, if you don’t catch them in time. No one ant can do the job – it takes an army of ants. But each ant does what it was made to do. They do what they were created for.

What if we all did what we were created to do? I mean, not just your calling, but well, what if we all took care of the poor around us? Do you think it would make a difference? Well, we’ve tried it, and it turns out you CAN have a community where there are no poor. I’m not talking about socialism. I’m talking about the first group of Christians – the church described in the book of Acts.

Acts 4:34 There was no one among them who lacked, for all those who were owners of land or houses sold them, and brought the income from what was sold, and placed it at the apostles’ feet. And it was distributed to each according to his need.

What if our church today looked like that? Maybe you can’t talk your mega-church into selling their land, but you can help the people around you with the extra you have. And I can give what I have. We can each be like the ant and carry away a little piece at a time. And we can keep doing what we were made to do – and maybe some other ants will join us.


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