Today’s list contains things that are small AND mighty. They are also tenacious when facing the trials of life. Their dogged determination to meet their goals is inspiration for all.
Agur’s list focuses on the insect and animal kingdom today. Of particular interest are the groups that work together and two animals that don’t seem to take “no” for an answer. In the face of adversity these four press on. Let’s look at them to see what we can learn.
We start our journey with the ant. Earlier in Proverbs, Solomon tells the sluggard to go and watch the ant. They are a great example of a diligent worker. One who never gives up in the face of adversity and doesn’t stop until the job is done. Agur agrees with Solomon’s awe of the ant. The ant not only provides its food in summer but prepares for the winter’s needs too.
An ant will sacrifice itself for the colony in times of trouble or when their desired path is blocked. You can watch this in the nature documentaries where ants climb on the backs of one another to form a chain across the water. They work as a unit and, as such, are extremely hard to stop. If the body of Christ could adopt their cohesion imagine the things it could do!
I want to skip ahead to the locust, as they too occupy the insect kingdom. The locust doesn’t have a designated leader like the ant does. No queen to order the drones or tell the workers what job to do. Locust stick together as closely as the ants do though. Their life is simpler in that they have two focus’; eating and breeding. Locust breed and hatch so quickly and in such vast numbers that it is almost impossible to contain them. Because they share the same single minded focus, when one area is cleared of all food sources, they stick together and make their way to the next one. None of them go off on their own, in search of a new direction. What works for one works for them all! They have no need of a leader to organize them.
Let’s go back to the rock badger now. I had to do a Google search to see what they are like. I was surprised at what I found. Agur focuses on the fact that they live in the cliffs. They don’t burrow in the cliffs but seek out small gaps in the rocks and caves that naturally form. They use the special pads on their feet that act a bit like suction cups to cling to the rocks. Their main ‘activity’ in life is resting, especially in the sun. They have a hard time controlling their body temperature and often sleep ‘dog-pile style’. Warmth in numbers. They are designed by God for this lifestyle and do not fear the dangers of living a vertical life. I suppose they are “exceedingly wise” in how they share space with one another for warmth and can locate a cave with ease. I would not put them in a category with the ant, but I’m not the one who wrote this proverb. I would say they are tenacious though as they hold fast to the cliff faces.
The last item on today’s list is the lizard. Of ALL the things on this list, the lizard personally scares me. Yes, I would be freaked out by a swarm of locust but I probably won’t encounter one. Lizards I HAVE encountered. And I DON’T like them! My oldest grandsons like to go looking for them whenever they visit me. I let them look all they want, as long as they don’t bring them to show to me!
Lizards can get into the tiniest of spaces, no matter how hard you try and keep them out. Even a king can’t keep them out. They like the sun, just as the rock badger does and for the same reason; their ‘thermostats’ don’t work. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that they rest as much as the rock badger does too. Rest, replenish and reproduce seems to be their lifestyle. And they are GREAT at hiding! It takes a bit to get one out of its hiding spot and even more to catch it as if flees to the next hiding spot.
Tenacity is the main thing these four have in common to me. Yes, they are also small, as Agur points out. Some smaller than others with the rock badger being the largest of them. Other than the lizard, they live in groups or colonies. I think that of all the listed animals, the ant impresses me the most. It is their cohesion and ability to accomplish whatever they set out to do that strikes me. EXCEPT when they are using their tenacity and single mindedness in MY kitchen! So long as they stay outside and away from my business, we will get along fine.
Father God, You made such AMASING diversity! From the smallest to the largest and everything in between, You have a special place and plan for them all. Tenacity is one of the traits You gave me and I’m glad to see I’m not the oddball in this area. It serves these animals well and I have learned to temper it so it serves me well too.
Help me with tenacity AND patience as I continue to give over my space to little creatures I’m currently raising. I’m longing for my space back but it’s not safe for them outside yet. Keep me strong in caring for them and patient with the mess they are making. Help me also to clean it fully once they are moved. Give my husband patience too. He gets jealous of the time I spend caring for anything other than him. I love him even when he is challenging. Thank You for the tenacity You gave. It enables me to care for him.