We rarely think about the things listed on these pages. Yet each one makes a BIG difference in our lives. We couldn’t LIVE without most of them! So think about them for a few minutes. And when you thank God for the big things in your life, add these “small” blessings too.
Have you ever stayed up all night? Two nights in a row? Three? That might be fun the first night, it’s difficult the second, and it’s probably impossible the third. God made your body to need—even demand—sleep. You would go crazy, then die if you never slept.
God made most plants and animals the same way. All living things need regular times of rest. Although people can rest in daylight or darkness, some creatures are triggered by sunset or sunrise. Some flowers bloom only in darkness, others only in sunlight. Listen to birds sing at sunrise, watch bats fly after sunset. They’re created to do those things at those times. Imagine what would happen if the sun never set. Most of creation would probably fall apart from lack of rest.
If it didn’t fall apart, it certainly would become too hot or too cold. Imagine never having a night to cool off from a hot summer day. The sun gives us the energy we need to live (see “Green Plants”), but with too much sunlight, creation would burn.
The next time the sun sets, thank God that night follows day without fail. Then say good night and take a rest.
Colors and Flavors
Try to imagine a world that has no color—instead, everything is black, white, or shades of gray. Then try to imagine food that has no flavor—
everything tastes like cardboard. Then thank God for colors and flavors.
Only green plants can take sunlight and—through a
complicated process—make food from it. All food can be traced back to green plants. And all ocean food can be traced back to small green plant stuff called phytoplankton (fy-toe-PLANK-ton).
Hamburgers come from cattle, which eat plants. Candy is made with sugar, which comes from sugar cane or beets—green plants! By working backward, try to find one food that does not trace back to a green plant.
When we breathe, we take in (inhale) oxygen and breathe out (exhale) carbon dioxide. So do all other living creatures. Only green plants inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen. Only green plants can give us oxygen to live.
Want to see a tree breathe? Tie a plastic bag tightly around a few of its leaves that are in the sunlight. Come back about an hour later. The bag will be damp from the tree’s “breath.” Just like us, trees exhale a bit of water with each breath.
If you touch a hot pan by mistake, you jerk your hand away before you think about it. If you jab yourself with something sharp, you jump away before you think about it. When the sun shines directly into your eyes, you squint before you think about it.
Your jerks, jumps, and squints are automatic reflexes. Sometimes you can’t think fast enough to protect your body. So God made your body able to react before you think.
Thank God for your reflexes.
They protect your eyes and help moisten them in “the blink of an eye” with no command from you. Try to stare at something for one minute without blinking. What would happen to your eyes if you could not shut them?
It protects your insides and keeps germs out. It tells you if the weather’s too cold or too hot. It grows with you, mends itself, and never wears out. It does all these things without a thought. Amazing!
Try to eat a meal without bending your elbows. Then make a list of things you CAN do because you can bend them.
Dirt is home to the plants that provide our food. Without dirt, plants could not live and we would starve. Dirt is also home to many of creation’s recyclers:
Daddy longlegs eat little dead things like leaves and bugs. This cleans up creation and recycles the nutrition left in the dead things.
Maggots eat big dead things. If they weren’t here, we’d have a big clean up job to do.
Cockroaches and termites are the only little critters that can digest wood. In their intestines they have bacteria that eat cellulose, the “wood” part of wood. Without them, dead trees would never break apart completely.
Worms soften and mix dirt so that plants can grow. Without worms, some soil would be as hard as rock.
Ants living in deserts stir up hard soil so that it can absorb water. In forests some ants chase away certain insects that would harm the trees.
Spiders keep bugs in check. Scientists say that spiders eat eight out of every 10 bugs in the world.
Snakes keep rats and other rodents in check. (Yes, they eat them!)
About the Author
Joanne De Jonge is a freelance writer and a former U.S. National Park Ranger. She attends West Valley Christian Fellowship in Phoenix, Ariz.