Lessons from the Ant – Part 1

ANT

I recently had the privilege of speaking at a Ladies’ Tea in a local church. The ladies had chosen a picnic theme for the tea, so I thought, what is a picnic without ants? I thoroughly enjoyed studying about these amazing creatures in planning for my talk. Since it is summer here in the northern hemisphere, I thought I would share what I learned over the next few times I share here on Breathe Ministry’s blog. I hope it encourages you as much as it did me!

The Bible talks about these amazing creatures two times…both in the book of Proverbs. In fact, in Proverbs 6:6-8, we are told to “consider” (NIV) or “take a lesson from” (NLT) this little creature. And who wrote this passage of Scripture? None other then the wisest man who ever lived…Solomon (under the inspiration of God!)! So, seems worth our while to heed it, don’t you think?

In the second passage, Proverbs 30:24-25, we are told that the ants are “small” and have “little strength”. However, they are “unusually wise” (NLT) or “extremely wise” (NIV). Why? Because they “prepare their food in the summer”.

Back in Proverbs 6, the passage is directed toward a “sluggard”. If we look at verses 9-11 we find a definition of sorts for a sluggard. A sluggard always says “later, later” or “just a bit more rest”. Sounds like some of us in the mornings, right? Or my children when I ask them to do something! Procrastination. That’s what we are prone to do. Another word for it is…laziness. What we often forget, however, is what comes next for being lazy! Often we regret what we did in the past…”If only I worked harder…If only I had used my time wisely…If only…” You fill in the blank.

So, let’s see what it is we are to learn from the ants so that we don’t become sluggards…back to Proverbs 6:6-8!

Motivation – vs. 7

What is your motivation for doing what you do…studying, playing, working, or even serving God? Do we do what we do because someone told us to? Because someone keeps checking up on us? Because of our boss or pastor or friend? The right motivation comes from the inside, not from the outside. It doesn’t depend on your situation or with whom you are working/serving. The ants’ motivation does not come from their Queen, who has only one purpose in her life.   So how about you? Where does your motivation come from? The purest motivation should always come from a desire to glorify and please God. A great verse to remind us of this is Colossians 3:23-24: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (NIV)

Advanced Planning – vs. 8-9

Ants don’t wait until the last minute to get things done. They plan ahead. They work hard during the summer months when food is plentiful so that they have plenty for their colony to eat in the lean, winter months. Now since ants live around the world, some places where they live do not have distinct seasons…like in the jungle. But, ants still plan ahead. They are always scavenging for food and when they come across it, they gather it, for they don’t know when their next meal will come along.

We also have seasons in our lives. Do you realize when your are in your “summer” and when you are in your “winter” seasons? Do you know when to work or study hard and when to rest? Have you planned for your future? Have you done your best in whatever you are doing in this season of your life? Maybe you are in the spring of your life…a young woman attending school or just starting out in a marriage relationship or with a young family. Maybe you are in the summer of your life, a little older and wiser, taking care of a family or working to support yourself and your family. Or maybe you are in the fall season of life. A more mature adult with kids leaving the nest and a bit more wisdom under your belt. Or maybe you are in the winter season. You are now a mature woman, looking ahead at fewer years than you have left behind. No matter in which season you find yourself, God has a plan for you and you need to heed it, planning ahead for the next season of life.

Whatever you do now will not be in vain, no matter how silly or unrelated it may be to you. God will always cause some good to come out of it. Nothing happens by chance with God! Remember Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

There is so much we can learn from this tiny creature God created! Look for Part 2 in August here on the Breathe Ministry blog…and consider the ant this summer!

~Terri

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