[ecko_quote source="Proverbs 6:6-8"]Go to the ant, you lazy man! Observe its ways and become wise. It has no commander, officer, or ruler, but prepares its provisions in the summer and gathers its food in the harvest. [/ecko_quote]
The years 2008-2011 were the hardest times I've experienced. I was not able to get a job in my field of study. This continued for several years despite successfully completing and excelling in my tertiary education in New Zealand. I tried my very best and even offered to work voluntarily in some Chartered Accountant firms to complete my log book. However, my best was not good enough. I received rejection letter after letter. My heart was broken, and there was no joy was left in me. During this process, I became depressed and regretted the choices I have made in coming to New Zealand. Later, I stopped applying for the jobs and lost interest in everything I hoped to undertake. In fact, I gave up and became lazy. During the 2009 watch night service, where we have a tradition of picking promise cards, the Lord spoke to me through the above verse. This enabled me to consider the ways of an ant carefully and learn several lessons from them.
The ants are more diligent than slothful men. We ought to learn wisdom from these insignificant creatures. Let’s look into some of the facts. There are over 10,000 different species of ants and they can lift 20 times their own body weight. The ant's brain is made up of 250,000 cells whereas the human’s brain has 10,000 Million cells. However, they probably use more of their cells than we do. See where this is going? Ants also have two stomachs, one for storing their own food and the other for storing food which they share with other ants later. Isn’t that nice of them to be so thoughtful of others? The life expectancy of an ant is only 45-60 days, yet these tiny creatures accomplish so much in their short lifespan.
If we watch an ant for a few minutes, we can see that it is an industrious, cooperative, self-motivated creature with a lot of perseverance/endurance. Moreover, this is a very convicting example for us. The ant, according to the text, has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its supplies in the summer and gathers its food in the harvest. It plans! If you have ever tried to stop an ant from doing its work, you would know that an ant does not stand still for a minute. It will standback if you block its path, and then it's off to find some other way to accomplish its goal, but It will never give up.
Among several lessons that I learnt from ants, one of the most important ones is that we should never give up. After this enlightenment, I once again started my journey of job hunt with a renewed energy and strength gained from the Lord through this promise/instruction. Not long after this, our Heavenly Father granted me with an opportunity to complete my Chartered Accounting and also enabled me to find an excellent job in the Inland Revenue Department. All the Glory to God. A young man once asked Henry Ford, "How can I make a name for myself and be successful?" He replied, "Decide what you want, then stick with it. Never deviate from your course no matter how long it takes or how hard the road is until you accomplish your purpose". How true and insightful that is?
Successful people have one thing in common: they refuse to quit! No matter how many times they fail, they get back up, dust themselves off, learn from it, and start over again. Although a righteous person may fall seven times, he gets up again (Proverbs 24:16). Paul J Meyer says, “Ninety-nine percent of those who fail are not actually defeated, they simply quit”. The only people who never fail are those who never try. So keep going, and don’t even think about quitting!
My dear friend, if you are struggling today and wondering why God has forsaken you, why He has left you, or why you’re going through such fiery trials, be encouraged. God is strengthening your faith for you to partake in a bigger plan He has for you!