God Knows Mealworms

I received the following devotion this morning from Lutheran Hour Ministries. It was written by Rev. Kenneth Klaus, retired Lutheran Hour speaker.

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to Him that He might be repaid?” For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:33-36

The normally reserved scientific community is downright giddy.

A Stanford University engineer has said, “This is one of the biggest breakthroughs in environmental science in the past ten years.”

Craig Criddle, Stanford professor of environmental engineering has said, “Sometimes, science surprises us” (but), “this is a shock.”

These two are referring to a report carried in the journal Environmental Technology. The report, composed by researchers from Beihang University in China and Stanford University in California, has the potential of changing the world.

And what does this report say? Good question. I’m glad you asked.

The discovery begins with the common American beetle, a beetle which produces larvae. These larvae are called “mealworms.” Scientists found that you can feed Styrofoam to mealworms. Amazingly, the mealworms not only eat the Styrofoam, they digest the stuff and feel just fine for having done so.

And how is this possible? Apparently, there are microorganisms in the worms’ digestive system that produce an enzyme that can digest the Styrofoam. When the mealworms are done with the Styrofoam, they excrete biodegradable substances, which decompose.

Someday, when applied on a grand scale, these enzymes may do a lot to clean up Styrofoam products, which are among the great polluters of the environment.

Who would have thought such a thing could be possible? Well, actually, God thought it.

Not only did He know it was possible, He actually created the mealworms and the microorganisms and the enzymes. Then the Lord sat back and waited for the brilliant minds of the world to discover something He had known all along. Even without knowing about this breakthrough, St. Paul wrote, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways!”

Of course, this mealworm stuff is nothing compared to the other things the Lord knows. For example, He knows we are all sinners. He also knew that if we are to be forgiven and saved from the fires of hell, He is the One who had to do something about it.

To that end He sent His Son, Jesus Christ. True Man and true God, Jesus shouldered our sins and died the death we deserved. Now all who are brought to faith by the Holy Spirit are redeemed, rescued and restored.

Like worthless Styrofoam, we have been repurposed into something useful.

Two things I learned from the devotion: mealworms love to eat styrofoam, God loves us enough to provide mealworms, and three, there is much knowledge yet to be learned by all of us and God still knows everything (OK, I know I said two, but I just keep on learning!)

Good stuff!

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