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The Odd Opossum

"Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him." Psalm 33:8

What is this strange thing coming down the forest trail? It turns out to be a mother opossum carrying eight babies who are strung along her back and clinging to her long, bare tail. The mother opossum is very careful about her big family.

Female opossums are the only animals in the United States and Canada that have pouches (like kangaroos). Although the most common kind grows to about the size of a house cat, baby opossums are no bigger than a bumblebee when they are born. Within two minutes they smell their mother's milk located in her pouch in the outer skin of her abdomen and climb in, remaining there for two to three months. Then for a few more months they are given piggy-back rides while their mother introduces them to other foods -- fruits, nuts, insects, fish, frogs and vegetation. They hunt for food at night.

One thing the mother doesn't have to teach them is how to "play possum." This is an instinct the Creator gave them when He first placed them on the earth, and it is carried on from generation to generation. When danger threatens, instead of trying to run away (they are not very fast on their feet), they fall to the ground with their jaws dropping open, tongues hanging out, eyes glazed and barely breathing. They look just like a dead animal and even give off that kind of an odor.

A fox or coyote might come right up to one, but the opossum does not move a muscle or blink an eye and is usually left alone because the attacker is not interested in dead meat. People who have found one "playing possum" have grabbed its fur, shaking it just to see what will happen. But opossums always remain perfectly still until the danger is past. Isn't it wonderful how the Creator has given them this ability?

As we consider the various habits God has given all His creation, we look on in amazement. One important provision He has given each of us is an intelligence to understand His precious Word, the Bible. It is there we find that He loves us, and He knows all about us. We also find that we are lost sinners. Yet His desire is that we might live forever in His heavenly home, although we cannot go there with our sins.

Does the Bible provide a remedy for us? Yes. In Titus 2:13-14 we read of "the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity [sin]." If we admit to Him that we are sinners and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ who died to save us from our sins, God will then accept us as His very own sons and daughters forever and ever. How important it is to do this right now!

Copied with permission from Messages of God's Love. More articles in The Wonders of God's Creation (Volume 1-4) by Sidney R. Gill, also published by Bible Truth Publishers, Addison, ILĀ 60101.

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