Why the Water Bear?

When I wrote that devotional about Ants last Friday, I said I considered them the smallest animal – because I don’t consider water bears animals. Well, Wikipedia says I am wrong. Well, it doesn’t mention me by name. But it says that water bears – also known as Tardigrades – are in the kingdom Animalia. Since mentioning water bears in that devotional, they came up in other contexts twice this weekend. I can go a year or more without hearing about water bears, so that stuck out to me, and I figured God was trying to tell me something. The Bible says we can learn about God from animals:

Job 12:7-10 “But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.

So, what characteristics do water bears have, and what can they teach us about God? They have two outstanding characteristics: They are very, very small , and they are very, very resilient. They are, at their largest, 1.5 mm – about the size of a grain of rice. They can survive extremely hot and cold temperatures, harsh impacts, dehydration, toxins, radiation, extremely high pressure (like the bottom of the ocean) and also the vacuum of space. But tardigrades are NOT adapted to live in these environments. They can only endure them. One of the ways they do this is that, in response to certain stresses, their bodies create tardigrade specific proteins that protect them from structural damage. Yes, the Tardigrades were designed to create a tardigrade specific protein.  In other words, God gave them exactly what they need.

God also gives YOU exactly what YOU need.

Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

This doesn’t mean you won’t have problems. But when you face an extreme environment in your life, think about the water bear and his tardigrade specific proteins. You, too, have been designed for the things you will have to face. Remember this verse:

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

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