Daily Devotional – October 1
Have you considered the Arctic ground squirrel? It lives in the land of frigid temperatures--the northern tundra. This squirrel is unable to dig deep into the ground because the ground is permanently frozen, hard as rock, year-round. So, it has to hibernate close to the surface of the ground where temperatures can get as low as 5oF. Even though the ground squirrel is warm-blooded, it has the ability to drop its body temperature to 27oF; that’s 5 degrees below freezing! This arctic squirrel does not turn into a “squirrelsicle” - instead its blood super-cools without freezing. Meanwhile, the squirrel’s heartbeat drops from 350 beats per minute to about 3 beats per minute. Its breathing rate is reduced to once every several minutes with only a trickle of blood entering the brain -- causing brain wave activity to register zero. If this were seen in a human, he would be declared brain-dead! But not with the Arctic ground squirrel. He’s only hibernating!
The squirrel hibernates up to ten months every year, rousing itself about 12 times during this period. Remember, hibernation affects every cell; it is not just simply going to sleep. Vast, complex, internal changes take place. If these changes (slowing of the heartbeat and breathing, dropping the internal temperature, etc...) were due to slow gradual evolutionary processes, there would be no Arctic ground squirrels! All would have died in the process of trying to find the correct internal changes for successful hibernation. When we study the Arctic ground squirrel and all the processes involved in hibernation, it becomes obvious that it could not have happened by accident and chance! There was One who created the Arctic ground squirrel with the ability to hibernate. And who is that hibernator maker? God, Himself! He cares for His creation!
Then the beasts go into dens, and remain in their places.
~ Job 37:8
Source: "Pearls in Paradise" by authors Bruce Malone and Jule Von Vett
References for this devotional.