“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him [be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”
For many people, bats bring to mind words like “creepy,” “fangs,” “rabies,” and even “ugly.” However, over 450 years ago, Martin Luther marveled at the delicate beauty of the bat. He pronounced the creature an excellent witness to the skill and wisdom of the Creator.
God must also like bats. Almost one-fourth of all mammals He created are bats! The flying fox bat has a wingspan of nearly six feet. Bumblebee bats, native to Thailand, are the smallest mammals known, weighing less than a penny. There are brilliantly patterned tropical bats called butterfly bats. And hundreds of species of tropical plants depend on bats as pollinators.
Popular legend considers bats a serious part of the rabies problem. The truth is that raccoons, skunks, foxes, and even dogs and cats are more likely to have rabies. In fact, one study shows that in Pennsylvania you are more likely to find a rabid cow than a rabid bat. In reality, bats are delicate, helpful and intelligent creatures. A typical North American bat will eat about 600 mosquitoes an hour. Large colonies will consume between 250,000 and 500,000 pounds of insects per night! Bats can be trained, demonstrating their intelligence. And finally, an important warning. If you find sleeping bats, don’t disturb them. Even one such disturbance during sleep can be fatal since stored nutrition may be consumed by the disturbance before the next feeding cycle.
So next time you see a bat, don’t recoil in fear. Rather, say a prayer of thanksgiving to the Creator who made both of you.
I thank You, Lord, for the wonder that Your handiwork inspires. Fill me with a thankful heart that thinks of things in the same way that You think of them rather than as the world thinks of them. Amen.
Givens, K.T. 1990. “Going batty.” Modern Maturity, Oct.-Nov. p. 60.