What Good Is It?

November 1, 2016
by JJ Ollerenshaw

Genesis 1:24,25b – And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so. And God saw that it was good. (NIV)

I was sitting beneath a tree one hot day, when a big, old porcupine plodded past. He carried an extra burden: a load of old leaves impaled on his spiky back. For a moment, I felt sorry for him. But here was the culprit that had chewed on our dock and left some sharp quills on the chairs stored under our cabin. He had also become entangled in the dining tent one night, leaving the netting ripped to shreds. He was the same fellow that lived in a nearby tree, sharing a cavity with a bat and dropping his pellets in a large, soft pile on our path below. I silently lifted my hand towards him in a gun motion and whispered, "Bang!" He was a nuisance, as far as I was concerned.

The animal trudged on, ignoring me. I wondered, What good is it? Where is it on the food chain? In the past, I've helped to remove painful quills from a dog and a cow. What wild animal would hunt a porcupine? If someone were lost and hungry, they could simply bash it over the head. It's hardly sport to hunt them; they move so slowly. But how would one eat it? How does one pick it up?

I discovered that having very few natural enemies apart from man, a porcupine can live up to thirty years. It has a soft belly when lifted — carefully — by the underside of its tail, and the meat is used in meatball recipes. Its quills are used for decoration on traditional clothing. Being hollow, they were once even used to carry gold dust! What really surprised me was finding out that although God created this creature ages ago, only recently did its quill inspire a new type of hypodermic needle. The backwards-facing barbs can penetrate the skin and remain in place. One needle, instead of several, reduces stress and skin breakdown in a patient.

Next time that we ask of something, "What good is it?" I challenge you to find out. God doesn't make mistakes; He made everything for a reason.

Prayer: Father in heaven, all of Your creation is a miracle! And You are always surprising us! Open our eyes to see Your glory around us. We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, Who was here even before the world began. Amen.

About the author:

JJ Ollerenshaw <sandjollie@yahoo.com>

Belleville, Ontario, Canada


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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    True JJ. Thanks for sharing.


    Thank you, I am a tiny bit more knowledgeable now. Amazing. Thank you for the challenge.


    Really interesting.
    (B.C.)


    Yes, God made everything for a reason. Your reminder will help me to see that more clearly again. Thank you.


    Thank you for reminding us that slow plodding and prickly creatures are also of our Father’s making and something He created for a special purpose. Keep writing!


    JJ, Almost laughed out loud as you described the antics of one very determined porcupine, but appreciated the lesson drawn from it. So true. God doesn’t make mistakes. We’re the ones that do. Thanks for sharing. Blessings.


    Marvel at the intricacy of His handiwork and pray continually that we learn to nurture what He made rather than abuse it.


    Hi JJ,
    I wrote about that not very long ago, “The Lord God made them all” Very interesting comments about the porcupine. I did not know that about the quills. thank you for writing.
    Blessings.


    Very interesting information, and most importantly the reminder that our wonderful Creator never makes mistakes. I see the wonder of His many creations every day as I walk my dog along a beautiful woodland trail. Thanks.

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