The Amazing Tartigrades

  I had the privilege yesterday to speak at our home church, Faith Bible. It was church campout weekend on the nearby Koocanusa Reservoir, and the pastor went with the campers to speak on Sunday. I spoke to the small group of folks who stayed behind (They needed to be fed too!).  My message was on “Experiencing God in Creation.”  In my research, I read an article in the Institute for Creation Research’s magazine, Acts and Facts, about a cute little creature that God made called the Tartigrades (also called moss piglets or water bears).
     Tartigrades are “cute” microscopic eight-legged, segmented, aquatic animals that may live in moss around your home, eat algae, are compact enough to stand on a pencil tip, and are the toughest creatures yet discovered. One sample group spent 10 days in space with no oxygen. They were exposed to UV radiation 1,000 times greater than at the Earth’s surface, but after they were retrieved, they proceeded to reproduce normally. They can also withstand pressures six times greater than the deepest spot in the ocean (about 7 miles).  They’ve been known to exist in a dehydrated state for more than a century and return to normal activity when exposed to water!  The secret of their survival is the ability to shut down their metabolism completely while maintaining their cellular structure. They have the ability to switch off all living processes and then start them up again. What an amazing example of God’s engineering and design skills as the Omnipotent, Omniscient Creator!
     The seemingly infinite universe with its billions of galaxies each containing billions of stars is jaw dropping and beyond our finite ability to comprehend, but as you focus in on the features of our planet Earth where God designed for us to live and to manage all the flora and fauna He created, you realize that each plant and each creature He made has very special, unique, amazing features. Everyone is a reflection of the greatness of our God. Take any one of His plants or animals and do a detailed study and you will just stand in awe.  Here are just a few examples in addition to the Tartigrades:
     1.   Plants with tender roots, sometimes more slender than a thread, that penetrate hard, rocky soil.
     2.  The photosynthesis process that locks the energy of sunshine into food for a leaf—still not fully
           understood by scientists.
     3.  The coloring on the wing of a swallowtail butterfly due to 750,000 tiny colored scales.
     4.  The Archer Fish which calculates the height and speed of an insect flying up to 20 ft. overhead, and in                the instant of hurling a jet of water from under the surface, calculates also the angle of refraction and the           quantity of water needed to bring down its prey.
     5.  The Bombardier Beatle which combines gases to produce an explosion to frighten away its enemy                    without blowing itself up!
     6.  The Arctic Tern, which carries within its small brain the inbred instinct to navigate from the Arctic Circle              to  the Antarctic and back—25,000 miles.
     7.  The supersonic squeal of bats which gave the world radar during WW II; Bats using their sonar, can fly              through the moving blades of a fan without hitting the blades!
     8.  The silent flight of owls due to the unique design of their serrated feathers—a concept being applied to              the blades on turbines to make jet engines quieter.
     9.  The four legs of the giant elephant all bend forward in the same direction. No other quadruped is so                    made. God planned that this animal would have a huge body, too large to live on two legs. For this                      reason He gave it four fulcrums so that it can rise from the ground easily.  The horse rises
          from the ground on its two front legs first. The cow rises from the ground with its two hind legs first.
     No wonder, Job in his response to his supposed comforter, Zophar, told him to check out God’s creatures and learn from them: “But ask the beasts and let them teach you; and the birds of the heavens and let them tell you. Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you; and let the fish of the sea declare to you. Who among all of these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this, in whose hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind?” (Job. 12:7-10).
     The same God who made each of His creatures uniquely and purposefully, made you and me. The lives of each of us may be ordered by the Lord in a beautiful way for His glory, if we will only entrust Him with our lives. If we try to regulate our own lives, they will be a mess and failure. Only the One who made us can successfully guide us to a profitable, purposeful, meaningful end.  The Psalmist, David, wrote: “Know that the LORD Himself is God; it is He who made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture” (Psa. 100:3).  David, himself a shepherd, understood sheep and the need for a good shepherd who cares for the sheep, and found God to be that “Good Shepherd.” He also wrote the beloved 23rd Psalm, which begins with “the LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want…” In other words, He is all I need, and He meets my every need.
      If God put so much care into the design of His creatures, just imagine how much engineering and loving design went into making us,  the “crown of His creation” (Psa. 8:5). David speaks of that in Psa. 139:13-18: “For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from Thee, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth. Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. How precious also are Thy thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with Thee” (Amen—PTL!).
        Forever His,
            Pastor Dave

About Pastor Dave

Until my retirement 2 years ago, I pastored an independent Bible church in Northwest Montana for nearly 38 years. During that time I also helped establish a Christian school, and a Bible Camp. I am married and have children and grandchildren. The Wisdom of the Week devotional is an outgrowth of my desire to share what God is doing in my life and in our world, and to challenge you to be a part.
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