Those Dam Beavers!
Some people are not very fond of beavers, because they cut down trees (about 300 a year per beaver) and flood meadows by building their dams. Despite the damage they cause, they are really a very useful species. God created these giant rodents with a specific purpose, and scientist who have studied them marvel at their design:
Beavers are very well adapted for swimming. Their large hind feet are webbed and make them into strong swimmers. The small front paws are not; instead they have sharp claws. With those they dig up mud and stones for their lodges and dams. They also use their back feet to spread a waterproofing oil on their fur. Their nostrils and ears can be closed when swimming. Beavers can see well under water because there is a thin see-through lid over their small eyes that functions like goggles. Their front teeth are very strong and sharp for cutting down trees and they never stop growing, but are kept at the right length because of their constant gnawing on hardwood trees.
Beavers are such fascinating rodents that they have their own website. On www.beaversww.org you can read that “Beavers are more than intriguing animals with flat tails and lustrous fur. American Indians called the beaver the "sacred center" of the land because this species creates such rich, watery habitat for other mammals, fish, turtles, frogs, birds and ducks. We now know that beaver damming provides essential natural services for people too.
Beavers prefer to dam streams in shallow valleys, where the flooded area becomes productive wetlands. These cradles of life support biodiversity that rivals tropical rain forests. Almost half of endangered and threatened species in North America rely upon wetlands. Freshwater wetlands have been rated as the world's most valuable land-based ecosystem.
Beavers reliably and economically maintain wetlands that sponge up floodwaters, alleviate droughts and floods (because their dams keep water on the land longer), lesson erosion, raise the water table and act as the "earth's kidneys" to purify water. The latter occurs because several feet of silt collect upstream of older beaver dams, and toxics, such as pesticides, are broken down by microbes in the wetlands that beavers create. Thus, water downstream of dams is cleaner and requires less treatment for human use.”
This reminds us of what the people of Israel experienced in Ex.15:23-25:
“23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah.) 24 So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?” 25 Then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became fit to drink.”
Like a beaver, fulfilling his God-appointed task of throwing wood pieces into the water to dam up streams and purify their waters, Moses was given a similar task to make life in abundance possible for his people. Of course, it’s not just about providing a basis for an ecosystem of rich biodiversity! God is interested in detoxifying us from sin and unhealthy lifestyle choices, and in giving us life in abundance with Him. As Jesus said:
“I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” (Jn.10:10 AMP).
And those who serve Him have the same goal of providing the most beneficial growth environment for those in their care. Paul emphasizes this in most of his epistles, but in particular in Rom.12:10-16 (NIV), where he exhorts us:
“10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another.”
Acting in this way will provide the most beneficial environment for spiritual growth. Let’s work as hard on this as beavers work on their environment!
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We are a pastoral couple named Stefan & Heidi König. We have many years of experience in various ministries, and are thankful that God has given us this property to use as a way to bless others who need a place to relax and reconnect with Him.
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