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I’m thankful for mosquitoes

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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Female Ochlerotatus notoscriptus feeding on a human arm, Tasmania, Australia (Credit: JJ Harrison via en.wikipeida.org)

Janet and I returned home two weeks ago to discover that the air conditioning system in our house needed to be replaced.  Don’t you enjoy spending money to make something the way it was before you needed to spend the money?  Our house doesn’t look any different—it didn’t get fresh paint, new carpet, or additional space.  We spent a lot of money to make it the way it already was.

Bad stuff happens.  Life seldom goes the way you expected it to.  I was thinking about that fact on my way to work when a voice on the radio asked, How do mosquitoes survive a rainstorm?  Why aren’t they crushed by the raindrops?

I’d never thought about his question.  The researcher stated that to a mosquito, a raindrop weighs the equivalent of 3,000 pounds to us.  Why don’t we see mosquitoes squashed all over the sidewalk after a downpour?

Scientists have discovered that mosquitoes ride the raindrops.  They attach themselves to a drop as it’s falling from the sky and use it for protection against other raindrops.  Then they fly away as the drop nears the ground and hitch a ride on another raindrop.  They know not to stay close to the ground—think parachuter who waits too long to open his chute.

What can we learn from mosquitoes about surviving storms?

First, seek the heights.  The closer we get to God in hard times, the clearer his voice becomes.  It’s human nature to be angry with our Father when storms strike—note Jesus’ cry from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).  But rejecting him only hurts us.  His Spirit is waiting to empower anyone who will submit to his authority and seek his help (Ephesians 5:18).

Second, redeem the pain.  The raindrop that would crush a mosquito becomes the insect’s shield.  So much of life is perspective.  How could God use your present storms to make you more like Jesus (Romans 8:29) and to extend your witness?  When Paul found himself in prison, he asked the Ephesians to pray for him “that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains.  Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should” (Ephesians 6:19-20).

I had no idea that mosquitoes would help me feel better about replacing our air conditioning.  How could the God that made mosquitoes to survive rainstorms use their design to encourage you today?