Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved. —Helen Keller’s Journal
James 1:2-4 (NLT)
2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.
3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
In Antarctica, what some of us might call a God-forsaken place is not really a God-forsaken place.
Mites, which belong to the spider family, are the commonest land animals. One of them, which is only 0.3 mm long, is the world’s most southerly indigenous animal. It has been found as far south as 85° (a few mile away from the South Pole). Many of the mites avoid freezing by a physical process known as “super cooling”, whereby their body fluids are maintained in a liquid state in temperatures below their normal freezing point. Species such as the oribatoud mite and the springtail have a constant struggle to maintain this unstable condition. The presence of food material in the gut provides some particles around which ice will form, so, in order to survive, they must strike a balance between freezing and starving. Their ability to synthesize glycerol, an antifreeze, enables them to survive temperatures of – 35°C.
Another tactic, apart from anti-freeze, is dark coloration, which enables lichens to absorb sunlight and raise the temperature in their immediate vicinity.
Note that in some respects the conditions near the South Pole are more extreme than those on Mars. During winter the sun does not rise above the horizon – it is night-time for months on end. Any life which can adapt to this then has to cope with the opposite extreme in summer – incessant 24/7 sunlight for months on end, including the strong UV component resulting from the antarctic hole in the ozone layer. There may be more UV on Mars because of the thin atmosphere there, but at least the night-time provides a chance for recovery.
The main challenge for life in such extremes is not to survive when conditions are bad, but to grow and spread on the rare occasions when conditions allow this.
These are some of the extreme animals that we have here on planet earth. As I was seeing them on T.V., they were just unbelievable. God equipped these little critters with the things that they need and God has never failed them he never left them nor forsake them. As the show was ending the narrator of the documentary said these words that opened my eyes to God’s greatness: “Where we perish, they thrive in business.”