Trying to keep my 4 year old Bryce occupied during my oldest son’s baseball game can be quite a challenge. There is just so much snack eating…rock collecting…and tree climbing that can keep my little Bryce busy. I so wish he would just sit quietly and watch the game!
At one particular game, Bryce and I took a walk around the perimeter of the field. We came across what seemed like a zillion ants hovering around a small pipe hole in a cement wall. Bryce took great interest in these tiny little… annoying if you ask me… creatures.
Bryce grabbed a few rocks and tossed them at the hole…completely disrupting this quick busy assembly line of ants scurrying back and forth. Then we noticed a bunch of ants carrying a dead bee on their backs. They were attempting to bring the bee up the wall and inside this hole.
The ants would get close and then Bryce would knock them down with a rock. The bees dispersed scurrying about. And then suddenly…a bunch of ants appeared again carrying the dead bee on their backs! Now these little annoying creatures began to capture my attention too!
Well you can guess what happened next…Bryce knocked them down again. To my surprise these ants gathered themselves back up from this intrusion and continued to carry the bee on their backs. Truly amazing!
Boy, were they determined! These ants were so disciplined …They had a desire to get this dead bee in the pipe hole and they were surely not going to stop until they got him there!
As annoying as ants can be in our lives…ruining a family picnic lunch by their intrusion…or by crawling into our homes through some itty bitty crack only God knows…who would ever think that we humans could learn anything from these tiny insects?!
Well…God! God thought so highly of one of His littlest creations…so much so that He not only mentions ants in the Bible but He also states how we can actually learn from them!
Go to the ant, O sluggard, Observe her ways and be wise which, having no chief, Officer or ruler. Prepares her food in the summer and gathers her provision in the harvest. Proverbs 6:6-8 NASB
So what can we actually learn from the ant?
Three lessons we can learn from ants is preparation…perseverance…and partnership.
Ants prepare for their winters. Because ants hibernate in the winter, they must prepare for the winter by gathering enough food and eating enough food in the fall to get them through this hibernation period.
Ants are extremely disciplined in this manner thus demonstrating their wisdom.
Just like the ants, we too…as Christians…must prepare and be ready for the “winters” in our lives…as well as the daily “winters” or challenges that come our way.
The word preparation is defined as “the activity or process of making something ready or of becoming ready for something; the state of making ready for something expected or thought possible.”
Why and for what do we need to prepare?
The Bible doesn’t say “if” we face trials or troubles…but “when” we face trials or troubles! (James1:2)
We will face winters…we will face storms…we will face troubles…we will face challenges. And so we must prepare and be ready for these “winter” seasons in our lives as well as for the daily “winters” we may face.
Are you prepared? Are you ready?
We never know when we will face a “winter” season…when we will face difficult circumstances…when we will face daily challenges in our lives.
Maybe we are facing one right now.
I know it seems a bit absurd to prepare for something you don’t know is coming and I know that there are life’s tragedies that we may never be prepared for…but clearly God sees the significance of getting ready and preparing through the example of one of his tiniest creations. And furthermore, God encourages us to observe the ant and her ways…because preparation is wise.
Wisdom isn’t about what you know…it’s about applying what you know!
Knowledge (knowing) is having the facts. Wisdom is applying those facts to life. Without wisdom our knowledge is useless. We must learn how to live out what we know.
The ants know the winters are coming and demonstrate wisdom by preparing.
We know “winters” are coming in our lives…we know daily “winters” are coming. So how do we get ready and prepare?
Through the discipline of maintaining a close relationship with Jesus…By reading…studying… memorizing God’s Word and praying daily.
Are you disciplined in preparing for your “winters”…like the ants? Are you spending time with God out of duty or guilt because your pastor or leader tells you to or out of your desire and self-motivation to grow more intimate with your Savior?
The ants survival through the winter is dependent upon their discipline of preparation…just like our survival through our “winter” season and daily challenges are dependent upon our self-discipline of preparation.
When we fill our minds and hearts with God’s Word and communicate to Him through prayer, our faith and hope in Him grows…helping us face and get through the “winters.”
Ants persevere in preparing for their winters! Preparing for their winters is certainly not easy. Remember how many times the ants were knocked down by Bryce? They may get scattered for a moment but they re-group and pick themselves back up and overcome! Despite their obstacles…they push through and persevere.
What diligence and industry it uses in providing its food; which, though a small, weak, feeble creature, yet will travel over flints and stones, climb trees, enter into towers, barns, cellars, places high and low, in search of food; never hinder, but help one another in carrying their burdens; prepare little cells to put their provisions in, and are so built as to secure them from rain; and if at any time their corn is wet, they bring out and dry it, and bite off the ends of it, that it may not grow. Gill’s Exposition
The word perseverance is defined as “the quality that allows someone to continue trying to do something even though it is difficult; steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.”
And we…as Christian…must also persevere.
Setting time aside on a daily basis to spend with God is not always easy! We will be distracted…we will be tired…we will be consumed by the busyness of life…obstacles will come our way that will prevent us from spending daily time with God.
And just like the ants…we need to push through and persevere. It is this perseverance that will not only help us be prepared and ready for our “winters’ but will also push us through our “winters.” And we will consequently feel hopeful and encouraged in these difficult times.
As we prepare ourselves for the “winters” we must be diligent in spending daily time with God. If we miss a day…we need to get back into it and keep at it! If you don’t feel close to God…if you don’t think He hears your prayers…if you don’t think He understands what you are going through…Don’t give up! He is close…He does hear…He does understand!
Ants partner with one another and work together to prepare for their winters. Ants are known for their herculean strength. Some ants can pull objects 50 times their body weight! Ants an attack other insects…like the bee…that are much bigger than themselves. They will track down their prey and overpower it using sheer numbers…no matter how long it takes.
Bryce and I clearly witnessed this when these ants carried the dead bee on their backs up the wall and into the pipe hole!
The word partnership is defined as “one of two or more people, businesses, etc., that work together or do business together”
And we…as Christians…must also partner…with one another to prepare and push through our “winters”. It is so important that we are connecting and studying God’s word together…whether in bible studies or small groups. We need other Christian women in our lives to teach us…encourage us…challenge us…and pray with us.
So now do you think you can learn a thing or two from one of God’s tiniest creations?
Are you preparing for the winters? Are you persevering through the obstacles? Are you partnering with other Christians?
The ant’s life depends on preparing…persevering…and partnering in order to get through their winters.
Our life as Christians depends on preparing…persevering…and partnering to get though our “winters” and daily “winters.” Through discipline…we too can be wise just like the ants!
- What can we actually learn from the ant?
- Are you prepared and ready for the “winters” in your life?
- How can you prepare?
- Are you able to persevere through the obstacles of spending daily time with God? What obstacles/distractions do you need to persevere through and overcome?
- Are you trying to prepare and persevere on your own? Are there other Christian women you can partner with that can help you and even challenge you in your relationship with Jesus?
- We can learn 3 lessons from the ant…preparation….perseverance…and partnership.
- We can prepare through the discipline of maintaining a close relationship with Jesus…By reading…studying… memorizing God’s Word and praying daily. There are many helpful devotions, resources, and phone apps we can use to help us get into God’s Word.
- Self-discipline will help us persevere and overcome the things that get in the way of spending daily time with God. If you aren’t disciplined…Pray! Pray that God would help you!
- We can’t do this on our own…and neither can the ants! We must partner with one another to prepare and push through our “winters.” It is so important that we are connecting and studying God’s word together…whether in bible studies or small groups. We need other Christian women in our lives to teach us…encourage us…challenge us…and pray with us.