When God speaks through an ant, listen.

The photos of this silly ant for today’s post have been sitting on my hard drive for two years. I know that for a fact because they showed up again this week with that silly TimeHop app.

They’re nothing special to look at.

It’s just an ant carrying a green bug twice her size across a picnic table.

But for two years, every time I see the photos, I remember the story behind them and how God used an ant to talk to me as I sat in tears at a picnic table at the edge of the playground while I listened to the distant laughter of my sons.

ant in motion

At the time, I just Instagrammed the ant with the appropriate scripture. It was all I could do.  I was smack in the middle of a 31 Day series on Joy in Motherhood and struggling mightily with depression and sloth.

proverbs 6 6

This ant is beautiful.

What the photos will never show is that it was a windy day. That giant glow in the dark funky green bug has wings that act just like sails in the wind.

The inch of progress you see in the photo strip took the ant a full five minutes of fighting against the wind.  The wind was literally sliding the ant backwards at the same speed the ant was moving forward.

ant in motion

What the photos fail to capture is how an ant can fly.

A few steps further than the last picture, the ant was no longer protected from the full force of the wind by my purse. The wind hit her with a full force and she flew through the air, right back to where she started. As soon as she landed, the ant began walking forward again.

I watched her repeat the cycle more than once.  She would fight hard to make progress against the wind, be blown off course right back to where she started, and then start right back at her labors.

this ant is tiny

She never stopped for a breath.

She never wavered from her course.

She never dropped her bundle.

I’m not a fan of bugs and I normally wouldn’t take the time to admire the beauty of an ant. But there was something about her quiet dignity and dedication that took my breath away.

consider the ant

God, what can I learn from an ant?

As I sat there watching, I had this vague recollection of a scripture verse about ants. I looked it up.

you sluggard.

Right there in the middle of the verse God called me a sluggard.  He said “Go to the ant, O sluggard, observe her ways and be wise.”  Proverbs 6:6.

I had come to that picnic table worn our and full of complaining. I was overwhelmed with housework and parenting and life. I just wanted to curl up and quit.

I wanted relief.

I wanted God to remove all my bundles and give me a new direction for my life.  Not because what I had was too hard, but because it was too uncomfortable and required effort. I just didn’t want to work that hard. Not at housework. Not at parenting. Not at writing. Not at life.

I wanted easy.

Even now, two years and two days later, that’s difficult to admit.

If I could re-create that moment as a cinematic screenplay glory, the conversation went something like this:

Me: God, did you just call me a sluggard?

God: Look at the ant.

Me: I’m looking.

God: (silence).

Me: She’s not going to quit, is she?

God: The question you need to answer is “why.”

What I saw that day was that the ant KNEW her purpose. She knew that she was created to forage and bring home food for the tribe. She was determined to fulfill her purpose. Even when the wind blew her off course. Even when giant picnic table sized obstacles stood in her way. Even when her task was bigger than she was. Nothing would get in the way of that ant.

I wanted to be like that ant.

I still do.

I walked away from that picnic table a little different. I was still tired, my house was still a mess, and my kids were definitely still themselves. But I walked away reminded of my purpose. I was reminded that all those little things are part of God’s bigger plan. I walked away thankful that my path seemed a little easier than the ant.

And I began to breathe again.

Today, I write with purpose. I write because I promised. I write for the love of writing.

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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Comments

  1. Thank you for this post, great insight. As a full time working outside of the home mom to three children I can totally relate to your feeling of being tired of it all. I know God has a purpose for me, for you, for all of us.

    • It never ceases to amaze me how God meets me right where I am. No matter how weary and zapped I feel, God is there. He used the struggles of an ant to renew me. He speaks in sunsets and a gentle breeze. All I have to do is be still and listen for Him.

  2. I think that is an amazing series of photos. I’m gladded that they popped back up on your screen so that you were prompted to share them with us.

  3. Amazing post, the relation between human being and god is worth than an ant, you made me learned today, i was really in need, please helping me in the same way..:)

  4. Really inspirational Story and Learnt most of it. Thank you for this amazing post , good Lesson taught by you.We must say thank you again.

  5. Really motivating Story, gonna share with most of my friends . Thank you for this marvelous post .Thank you once again.

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