GILA MONSTERS and MOSQUITOES

gila monster
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. [Genesis 1:31a (NIV)]

Just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned. [Romans 5:12 (NIV)]

Although mosquitoes serve as food for birds, bats and fish, most scientists agree that the world would be no worse off if they disappeared; in fact, many think our planet might be a far healthier place if they did! As I dab cortisone on my swelling bites, I can’t help but wonder whether our perfect God made a big mistake when He made the mosquito.

Then again, if you’ve been bitten by a Gila monster or a venomous snake or spider, you might be questioning God’s wisdom in creating them. Yet, while Gila monster venom can be fatal, it can also be used to treat all sorts of medical conditions. Exenatide, used in treating diabetes, is a synthetic form of a chemical found in their saliva. Chemicals in their venom can also stop the growth of certain cancer cells. Although there are around 50,000 fatalities from poisonous snake bites each year, the venom from some of those snakes is saving lives. Drugs that treat high blood pressure, angina, and other heart conditions have been developed from the venom of the Brazilian pit viper, pigmy rattlesnake, and saw-scaled viper. I don’t much care for spiders but a substance found in scorpion venom helps identify cancerous cells in the brain and a drug developed from the Chilean rose tarantula’s venom is now used to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Those suffering from chronic pain may be surprised to learn that any of seven different compounds in the venom of some 80 species of spider might be giving them relief by blocking nerve activity. Apparently, God knew exactly what He was doing when he created these venomous creatures. It’s just taken mankind a little time to figure out how to create something good out of them.

After unsuccessfully searching for something good to say about mosquitoes, I have to agree with scientist Norbert Becker’s words: “Mosquitoes are the most dangerous animals confronting mankind.” I may be annoyed by some swelling and itching but, every year, more than a million people die and hundreds of thousands are incapacitated by mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, West Nile virus, encephalitis, dengue fever, yellow fever, and the Zika virus. Sadly, every 60 seconds, a child dies of malaria.

Mosquitoes truly seem to be the bane of our existence and I don’t understand why they came to exist. If we think back to Eden, however, it was perfect, all was good, and mosquitoes wouldn’t have bothered Adam and Eve. It was through our first parents’ disobedience that disease and death came into the world. Maybe, every mosquito bite is just God’s way of reminding us to obey Him. Perhaps, hidden inside the mosquito is a higher good purpose and God is waiting for us to discover it, just as we have with venomous lizards, snakes and spiders. Then again, perhaps God expects us to find a way of preventing those mosquito-borne diseases by supporting research, funding clinics and education, or making donations to organizations that provide insecticide-treated bed nets to third-world nations. I don’t know.

As much as I hate mosquitoes, I will not make Job’s mistake and arrogantly question God’s wisdom or plan. I will trust that He has a purpose for everything and accept that we are supposed to thank and praise Him for all things, not just the ones we like or understand.

Thank you Heavenly Father for all of your creation—not just the butterflies, song birds and wildflowers but also the spiders, venomous lizards and snakes, poison ivy, ragweed, fire ants, sand flies and mosquitoes. We don’t always appreciate your idea of blessings but will trust that you, in your infinite and loving wisdom, know what you are doing!

The Lord said to Job: “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!” Then Job replied to the Lord: … Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. [Job 40:1-2,42:1,3 (NIV)]

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” [Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)]

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