Proven Evidence

“In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God’s existence,” Sir Isaac Newton once said. Why would Newton choose a digit on the human hand as a proof God exists? There is good reason. The thumb possesses a wide range of motion the other digits on the hand do not have. The tip of the thumb can touch the other fingertips. This range of motion makes grasping objects much easier. The muscle which moves the thumb, the flexor pollicis longus, is strong, making the thumb powerful to pinch and grip. The thumb is the only digit which can be swung from side-to-side, most frequently it is moved to touch a fingertip. There is one more remarkable characteristic about the thumb, it is the angle at which it is arranged from the other 4 digits on the hand. It is not difficult to find agreement with Newton’s statement. Move your thumb around, watch it move. One reason we may disagree with Newton is we take the remarkable ability of our thumbs for granted.
There is an insect which convinces me that God exists. My simple assumption is Sir Isaac Newton never saw a dragon-fly. Why would I choose the dragon fly as proof God exists? Dragon flies (family of odonates) have a three-stage life cycle. In biological terms the dragonfly life cycle is a simple or incomplete one. The stages are egg, larva, and adult. It may be called simple, but complex things occur in the life of a dragon fly. Most dragonflies live in water for the egg and larval stage of life. Female dragonflies have two expert methods of getting their eggs in water. Petal-tail and Darner dragonflies have ovipositors that actually cut a slit in an aquatic plant-below the water line. Damselflies deposit their eggs the same way. Club tails, skimmers, emeralds and spike tails all deposit their eggs on the surface of the water where they sink to the bottom. These types of dragonflies lay thousands of eggs increasing the chance that by using the scatter method some will read adulthood. Once hatched, dragonfly larva or naiads are major wetland and lake aquatic predators. The gills of dragonfly larva are in their rectum. When they exhale they propel themselves forward, they do. Sources about the number of dragonfly species in the world contradict each other. However, these same sources estimate there are between 3,000 and 5,000 species in the world. If you have ever been near water when the dragonflies leave the nymph stage to live as adults you’ve witnessed their beauty and grace. The power of God is in the dragonfly life cycle. God’s divine nature is seen in their wings.
What value is there in looking at your thumb, or for that matter a dragonfly in flight? Both provide us with visual evidence that God exists. You may wonder, why it is necessary to know that God exists? Let’s use probability to provide an answer. There are two possibilities regarding God. He exists. He does not exist. Sir Isaac Newton examined his thumbs and concluded they were conclusive evidence of God’s existence. The dragonfly is a second evidence. Their remarkable life cycle, the thousands of adults gathered near water, the gossamer of their wings and the design on them are all indicators that God exists. Both the thumb and dragonflies are evidence. Evidence leads to faith that He exists. The words from the author of Hebrews provide us with reason why God made dragonflies, thumbs and the thousands of other life forms on earth-that we would believe in God.
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

 

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Look at your thumbs. Go outside near water in early summer, watch the dragonflies. God has put them here for us to know Him. Believe, He gives you faith

A Clear Signal

 

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It looked dead. From a distance there was more lifeless tan than green. “Impossible,” I thought, “it can’t be dead.” Closer, the truth became clear. What seemed to be numerous dead spots were actually uncountable numbers of seeds hanging in clusters from the branches. My eyes began to scan the other trees like it growing in the neighborhood. All of them were weighed down with immeasurable numbers of seeds.DSC_0033_2262ed

Many silver maple trees have been introduced to our neighborhood. For our Latin friends, it is called Acer saccharinum. The word saccharin, a sweetener, originates from the Latin word Saccharinum. It means yielding or containing sugar. Silver maples also produce “helicopters.” If you’ve been around children when the seeds fall, you’ll know why they are called helicopters. Next to a bird, the seed from the silver maple tree may fly better than anything else in nature.

These seeds have another name, samaras. Samaras are a tiny wing-with a seed on one end. The weight of the seed at the small end keeps the seed end low. As the seed spins the air pressure lowers at the wing end providing lift. In the wind, samaras fly great distances. The weight of the seed causes the samara to “land” seed end down pointed to earth. A slight downward pressure brings the seed in contact with the earth.

This is no accidental design. It is too perfect. They may also be considered signals.DSC_0049_2271ed

The immense seed production of the silver maple can be a source of irritation for gardeners and those wishing to keep flower beds in perfect order. Recently we put the fresh landscape bark around the perennial flowers growing around our house. Beautiful. Then the silver maple seeds ripened and changed color from green to tan. A few days later thousands upon thousands of silver maple seeds fell. Our neighborhood was covered with “helicopters,” so was our fresh landscape bark.

One positive, our grandchildren took great delight in re-flying them.

You can see God in these little helicopters. From them we understand a bit more what infinity is. Try counting them. My grandson delights in numbers. However, he and I soon tired of trying to estimate how many samaras were on our front lawn alone.DSC_0038_2266ed

You can see divinity. God’s divine nature is in the intricate design found on the “wings.” Rather than be frustrated over the seeming “mess” they made, my choice was to delight in their beauty and design. They do fly. The fact that possibly millions of them are now on the ground in our neighborhood is testimony to the infinite power of God as Creator.

Why are so many seeds are produced? God knows. They are food for wildlife. They do produce new trees. Many become humus and nourish the soil.

But why so many? One answer-they demonstrate God’s abundance. God produced a vast number, more than seems to be needed. One look at the abundance of samaras and you may also understand the infinity of God’s love. It is more limitless than silver maple seed.

The Psalmist said this about God: “How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.” (Psalm 104:24) These tiny samaras give testimony to God’s abundant, everywhere present and real love. Bible writer John explained it this way, “This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” 1 John 4:10

God wants us to know Him. He is continually sending signals. During this season, it is samaras. He must really want to get our attention He sent thousands and thousands of them.DSC_0042_2268ed