How God Makes His Wild Creatures Well

How God Makes His Wild Creatures Well

"Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young."—Ps. 84:3

We have veterinarians, or animal doctors, to take our pets and our prize cattle and horses to when they are sick, but have you ever asked yourself who doctors the wild animals?

Somebody does, you know. God does. In his infinite loving care he has provided ways by which animals treat themselves when they are sick or injured.

Perhaps you have seen your pet cat or dog eating grass. funny sight, yes. But they're taking medicine. Just what the grass does for them, I haven't the slightest notion, but they eat it because of some bodily craving. Grass is one of their medicines.

An old expression going back thousands of years is "A dog licking his wounds." Yes, that's what a dog does when he's cut up or bitten by other dogs or enemy animals. He licks and licks and licks the cut place in his skin with his rough tongue. Perhaps the action brings out the poisons that accumulate. Perhaps his saliva contains some kind of healing medicine. We all know, at any rate, that dogs recover from horrible wounds with no attention at all if simply left alone.

A wounded bear will go right away to a certain plant to eat leaves and bark from it. Somehow he knows they will put his body in good condition to recover. 

As a boy I was impressed by the way pigs could recover from wounds that would kill a human being. They would lie in the mud and then lie in the sun. Perhaps they knew instinctively, as we all now know, that the rays of the sun kill germs and that the warmth of the sun possesses a mysterious healing power. All hospitals today own expensive electrical machines that imitate in their effects the sun's rays, thus doing for human beings what God's sunlight does for his wild creatures.

Men who have hunted much tell of animals such as deer and foxes with only three legs—the other having been shot off or caught in a steel trap and gnawed off by the poor animal itself to escape. How did they get well? God helped them, that's how.

In their eating habits, too, wild creatures keep healthy. They shun foods not good for them. Nor will they often eat too much, unlike human beings. Somehow God has given them the instinct for eating the right things in the right amounts.

Last summer I was fishing and caught a fish too small to keep. It had swallowed the hook completely, and I knew that to pull it out meant certain death for the fish. My companion, a veteran fisherman, advised, "Just cut the line. The fish won't die. The acids in its stomach will dissolve the hook in a few days, and our little friend here will be as good as new."

As the fish swam away after I cut the line near its mouth, my fishing companion turned to me and said, "Isn't it wonderful how God has given animals the power to get well from their hurts?"

Yes, it is wonderful. In fact, one of those miracles we cannot understand. In his infinite wisdom our heavenly Father provides for his wild creatures. He gives them food. He heals their wounds. He gives them skills of flight and escape. Their instincts direct them in building nests and mud houses, and digging caves against the winter's cold.

As he cares for them, God cares for us even more. With each discovery of a new medicine a new way of operating on sick people, or a new way of preventing disease God opens another door into the world of healing. Our doctors, nurses, and hospitals are dedicated to making us well and keeping us well.

Yes, God loves his wild creatures. He provides for their health.

With man's help he provides for ours too.

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