Monday, August 29, 2016


Big lessons sometimes come in little packages. The tiny ant gives us a whopping lesson from the Lord, one we all would do well to heed.


The ant and the sluggard

Ants are amazing creatures. I find the six-legged creatures fascinating to watch, especially when I see one dragging an object as much as fifty times its body weight. They sometimes bother me, too, when they trail along my kitchen counter.

Ants are everywhere. In fact, over 10,000 species exist throughout the world. Some species build nests much higher than the typical anthill we see in the upper Midwest. Others are nomads. Ants have been seen building “ant bridges,” consisting of a string of ants clinging to each other while other ants walk across them over whatever gap they need to traverse.

Known for their great strength, ants always seem to be working. The phrase, “busy as a bee,” can apply to the ant even more. They make use of every moment. They’re resourceful and diligent, two characteristics we need to be successful, as opposed to being lazy or avoiding work.

The Bible has plenty to say about the ant and the lazy person. “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.” (Proverbs 6:6-8)

I’m amazed how God, the Creator of the vast universe, chose the tiny, insignificant ant to teach us important lessons in how to overcome laziness. God would not have us give up or put off a task, such as the sluggard would. Rather, He would have us stay busy for His purposes. Being busy, however, doesn’t mean always moving our bodies. We can be just as busy for Him while sitting in a quiet spot for prayer, meditating on His Word or holding an ill person’s hand. 

God would also have us plan for the future, like the ant that provides for itself. Ants have varied sleeping patterns. Working ants nap for seconds at a time, while queen ants sleep for a few minutes. They rest as much as needed, no more, before returning to their task. Whether working physically, mentally or spiritually, we can emulate the ants’ habits. “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-24)

Lord, thank You for the lessons of the ant. Give us the desire, will and strength to follow their example. Like them, help us use our time wisely, for Your glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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