The ant is one of those creatures that most persons would consider a pest. They get into our sweets, build nests in our circuit boxes, nibble on us and generally make a nuisance of themselves.
And today we’re going to talk about them – no I’m not going to tell how to kill them (though I have discovered recently that they dislike the smell of lemons and will leave your kitchen if you sprinkle lemon rind or have lemons lying around)… instead we’re going to use ants to show the hand of the Creator.
Did you know that there are over 12000 species of ants and that each species has something unique about them?
I'm fascinated by the leaf cutter ant. Did you know that the leaf cutter ant can carry things 5000 times its weight?
Not only that, but they live in complex societies complete with a farm and a waste management system. But we’re not having a biology lesson – we’re here to talk about how ants tell us of the glory of God.
Did you ever realize that you never see “just one ant” I mean seriously - have you ever seen a single ant and decided to ignore it because “it’s just a little ant”? Only to realize five minutes later that the entire area is now covered with ants?
Well, that little ant may have been a scout –that’s basically the spy whose job was to figure out if you had any food in the house and where you keep it.
While he’s checking out your cupboards, he’s laying a trail of pheromones that will lead his entire colony straight into your kitchen and all the lovely goodies you have stored there.
That trail of pheromones is also how the ants that you got rid of yesterday keep finding themselves back to that lovely muffin you left on the counter.
Remember the lemon trick I mentioned a few lines up? Well, sooner or later the smell of lemon dissipates and then those ever-trying ants will be back in your kitchen trying to steal your dinner.
God made these little creatures with the ability to travel hundreds of yards in search for food. Now that may not sound like much until you remember their size – then you realize it would be similar to one of us travelling hundreds of miles on foot to get something to eat.
In Proverbs 6:6 (NLT) we are encouraged to “take a lesson from the ants …, Learn from their ways and become wise!”
But you’re probably thinking, “They’re insects – pests! What can I an intelligent human being like myself learn from them? What can they teach me about God?”
That’s a good question. Here are three lessons that you can learn from watching ants:
1. Be a good neighbor: Ants have two stomachs – one for themselves and the other for a friend. Have you ever noticed that when two ants meet they stop and “kiss”?
Well, they’re doing more than just socializing. They are also passing on food. The fed ant will pass on food to the hungry ant. Can you imagine that? A simple insect knows when his fellow ant is hungry and also knows that what he has does not only belong to him but also to his neighbors.
Recent research has also shown that not only are ants sharing food, they are passing on immunizations as well. The lesson: we always have enough to share.
2. Work as a team: Have you ever seen a group of ants carry something that seemed impossible for their tiny size?
That’s because individually an ant can carry many, many times his body weight but they have also learnt that unity is strength – they can accomplish so much more when they work together.
This lesson is also evident in the way they organize their societies. The work in colony is often divided where certain ants perform a particular function.
At the same time, each ant is working towards a collective goal. Each ant in a colony has a role to play but they have mastered the art of working together.
Have you ever noticed that you can’t drown a group of ants? That’s because they work together to overcome the current blockage – the mass of water. The lesson: we can learn much when we work together.
3. Never give up. Keep trying to get what you want. This is especially true concerning the dream that God has put in your heart.
There will be people telling you that it’s impossible. There will be days when it’s hard to show up. Keep pressing on. The breakthrough may not be today but it will happen if you keep trying.
Ants are truly amazing creatures. What lessons can you learn from them about the glory of God?