Of Ferrets and Faith

©iStock.com/ GlobalP

©iStock.com/ GlobalP

Have you ever played with a ferret? My daughter (a vet student) gets to interact with all sorts of interesting animals, and occasionally I get to share in the fun. I’ve been introduced to several new creatures this way, but my favorite is the ferret, an animal I’d never even seen before since they’re illegal here in California.

Ferrets are like miniature, land-loving sea otters. They’re extremely playful, seeming to view everything as a potential game, and exude this incredible, bubbly enthusiasm for whatever they happen to be doing. They get so excited that they literally fall over themselves, jumping sideways, tripping over their own feet, bumping into things, and rolling around with joy. Though called a “war dance,” this is the ferret’s way of saying, “Come on, let’s play!”

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy …” (Galatians 5:22, NKJV).

Do I embrace the joyful spirit that God offers me? Or am I too busy with have-tos to enjoy the everyday pleasures He provides?  

Ferrets are also persistent little critters. I have to admit that I never knew where the phrase “to ferret out” came from, but it’s quite appropriate. Once they get it in their heads to get ahold of something, nothing will deter them. It absolutely doesn’t matter what obstacle you put in their path, they’ll just keep on coming. In fact, the challenge of overcoming the obstacles seems only to increase their fun.

©iStock.com/Delecrouix

©iStock.com/Delecrouix

They have a particular affinity for shoes (not just a girl thing in the world of ferrets). Hide a sandal in a closet, and they’ll squeeze under the door to retrieve it. Put a flip-flop in the top drawer of a chest, and they’ll climb through the back of the chest and up through the drawers to reach it. Wear a slipper, and they’ll pull it off.

Do I seek God as diligently? 

“You will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 4:29). 

If you happen to catch a ferret red-handed and object to his thievery, he will laugh. No kidding—these animals laugh! Their infectious chuckling sound is called “dooking.” (If you need cheering up, search “dooking ferrets” on YouTube. You’ll be laughing before long.)

“You shall laugh at destruction and famine, And you shall not be afraid of the beasts of the field” (Job 5:22) 

Am I secure enough in God’s promises that I can laugh at adversity?

Like any small mammal, ferrets do have enemies. Yet when you see their bravado as they chase off a pit bull, you’ll wonder if anyone’s informed them of their vulnerable size. It’s true that they’re very fast and nimble, and that they do have very sharp teeth. But their greatest strength seems to be their attitude—a confidence in their God-given defenses that is way out of proportion to their size.

Do I let appearances scare me off? Or am I confident in God’s provision? 

 “Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for … the Lord is with us” (Numbers 14:9).

We can learn a lot from the animals cohabiting our planet. What insights have you gleaned from the critters that share your world?

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