Up close, these barnacles look a bit alien, don’t they? Almost a little creepy! Here’s another picture to put your mind at rest about their danger:
Not quite so scary now, huh?
Barnacles have a very interesting life. They spend the first few days of their lives as larvae floating about in the water, looking for a nice place to call home. Once they’ve found a suitable spot, they secrete a cement-like glue to attach themselves to this prime real estate, and they never leave that location. Once they’re firmly attached, they secrete six shell plates that grow to cover their body. Four more plates are produced that form the door. This door can be opened or closed depending on the tide.
When covered by sea water, the barnacle opens the door to extend feathery appendages into the water to filter out plankton to eat. These “legs” also contain gills for breathing underwater. When the tide goes back out again, the barnacle shuts the door to conserve moisture.
Barnacles are one of the banes of boat owners because of the drag they cause. One estimate gives them credit for causing a ship to burn up to 40 percent more fuel to move through the water! Such tiny creatures, when banded together, can cause quite a massive effect! (Another blog for another time!)
I recently wrote Don’t Dry Up!, using seaweed as an example to remind us to stay in the water–the Living Water. We need to be constantly pursuing our relationship with God for our very sustenance. But there are times when we are doing everything right (praying, reading the Bible, spending time with brothers and sisters in Christ, serving, etc.), but it seems the tide has gone out. We can begin feeling like we’ve been moved to the desert, and there is no water anywhere to be found! We can be tempted to find refreshment down other avenues, even if we know they are not the direction God wants us to go. They may not necessarily be “bad,” just not right for where He wants us to be! Taking what we see as a detour may actually lead us farther and farther away from Him and His will for us.
Dry seasons are not the time to make rash decisions or major changes, especially if they take you farther away from your relationship with God. Shut the front door, and conserve the water you’ve been given. Take control of your thought life, reminding yourself of God’s truths that He has shown you in the past.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:15 NIV).
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2 NIV).
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17 NIV).
He does not change, in spite of what we may be feeling or experiencing. His truth is eternal, no matter what may be going on around us.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand (Ephesians 6:13 NIV).
Did you catch that? “Stand.” Put on your armor, and don’t move! (You can read more about the armor of God in Ephesians 6.) Wait for your orders, and when they come, you’ll be ready. But until then, stand! Continue following the orders you last heard. Continue reading, praying, going to church, and serving. Hold onto the truths you have learned. The barnacle doesn’t give up on its home and go out to find water somewhere else because the tide has gone out. It closes up to retain what it has taken in, and waits for the tide to return.
If you are feeling parched, fear not! Times of refreshing will return. In the meantime, put on your armor, and shut the front door!