Summary: Life lessons from a Squirrel. These are little devotions that you can use during the Fall/Autumn time of year that help us see how God's creations can help us live an abundant life.

Life Lessons from a Squirrel

Genesis 1:24-25

"And God said, 'Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds - livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.' And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good."


Autumn allows us to take some time out and enjoy all that nature has to offer us. It also allows us to learn some very valuable lessons from creation. One of those animals of course is the common little squirrel. Below are five life lessons we can learn from the everyday common little squirrel.

1. Squirrels teach us to be good stewards of our earth.

Squirrels are amazing tree huggers!

We all know how well squirrels are able to travel up and down through a tree. But did you also know that they help clean up and continue the life cycle of a forest? Squirrels eat a great many things that help out the environment of a forest. For example, squirrels eat bark, plants, insects, caterpillars, nuts, leaves, roots and seeds. Along with all of that, they help replant the forest as they dig holes to hide their seeds/nuts. Many times they are not able to relocate those seeds and nuts and from their planting a new tree emerges. Millions of trees owe their existence to the hiding techniques of their squirrel friends.

Genesis 1:28 - "And God blessed them. And God to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." (ESV)

Psalms 8:6 - "You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet." (ESV)

Exodus 23:10-11 - "For six years you shall sow your land and gather in its yield, but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the beasts of the field may eat. you shall do likewise with your vineyard, and with your olive orchard." (ESV)

(See also Psalms 104 and Romans 8:18-23)

God placed us here on planet earth for us to be good stewards of all its resources. We are not to exploit the earth. Psalms 104 reminds us that God watches over and sustains our planet. Romans 8:18-23 reminds us that when we sin environmentally the earth groans under our sins. So, when we exploit our planet it is not only a sin against creation but against the creator Himself. Like the squirrel we need to do all we can to live off the resources of our planet but at the same time add back to its richness and fullness.

2. Squirrels teach us to learn how to adapt and adjust

Squirrels are found almost all over the world and in all kinds of climate. You can find squirrels in city parks, forests, rural communities, tropical rain forest and even in some African desert areas. The only place that they seem to not thrive has been the country of Australia. Every other place squirrels of all kinds have been able to adapt and thrive.

1 Corinthians 9:19-231 Corinthians 9:19-23 (ESV)

19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.

Philippians 4:11-13 (ESV)

11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

One of the greatest aspects of Christianity is its ability to be at home in all the nations on our earth. Christianity is able to thrive both in the West and in the East. It is able to thrive in areas where the demographics are white or black or brown or a mixture of all three.

Christians are also given the power to adapt. While we do not conform to the world, we at the same time are called to be a witness in our world. We do that by being able to be in the world but not of the world (Romans 12:2).

We also learn how to adapt in the midst of prosperity and in the midst of poverty. We also learn how to adapt when Christianity is promoted by a country and when it faces opposition and persecution. We learn to adapt as new generations come and go throughout the ages. We are able to do all of this because Christianity is the Truth and the Only Way to Salvation. We learn how to adapt because the Holy Spirit teaches us and guides us and gives us wisdom and knowledge.

3. Squirrels teach us to pace our lives - to live in God's Rhythm

Unlike some other animals squirrels know how to hunt and forage both at night and during the day time. However, for most of the time squirrels prefer the daylight to night time. In the spring they normally get up near sunrise and do their best to get their food, build their nest and raise their young. During the summer months most squirrels begin to slow down and take a siesta in the afternoon. They sleep for a couple of hours and then return to getting food and playing. During the winter time, they usually get up near sunrise, work until noon time and spend the rest of the day resting and conserving heat. They work with the rhythm of the seasons.

+Genesis 2:1-3 (ESV)

2 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

Genesis 8:22 (ESV)

22 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

God gives us our four seasons for us to grow, to rest and to enjoy. We would do better if we would develop our personal rhythm of life to correspond to the seasons. Think for a moment of some of the things you can do each season:

SPRING—planting flowers, digging in the soil, trees budding, basketball, sun shining, wind blowing, walking in the rain with an umbrella, kite flying, baby birds hatching, etc.

SUMMER—baseball, sidewalk skating, camping out, picnic, lying under a shade tree, fireworks exploding, swimming, picking or smelling flowers, eating out of your gardens, mowing the grass, yard sales etc.

FALL— crisp air, harvesting food, leaves falling, raking leaves, playing soccer or football, picking apples from a tree, camp fires and hay rides, etc.

WINTER—snowflakes falling, making a snowman, throwing a snowball, shivering, ice skating, playing hockey, singing Christmas songs, pulling on a stocking cap, shoveling snow, etc.

Each season gives us great things to do and experience. And once a week we find God's rhythm of Sabbath. We put aside all the work and enjoy a time when our bodies, our minds and our souls find rest. We discover that Sabbath is as old as creation, predating both Moses and the Law. God created Sabbath for humans and for all creations on His earth.

4. Squirrels teach us to be lifelong learners.

Squirrels are not only great at adapting but all of their lives they are constant learners. They learn what trees to climb, they learn how to make the best nests and they learn how to find new foods all the time. They find new places to sharpen their teeth as the gnaw on decks and flower pots as well as limbs and tree bark. They feed on seeds and nuts along with learning to find bird food, tulip and daffodil bulbs.

They learn how to handle life upside down. They learn how to be flexible and reach for that limb that at first looks impossible. They learn that they can handle life when it turns them upside down.

They learn how to have back up plans. Squirrels learn that they need more than one escape route. They build escape routes by learning different paths to different trees. They also dig holes that they can hide in when they are being chased. They even build more than one nest so if a predator or the weather tears down one nest, they have a back up plan. All of their lives they are learning how to find better food, navigate the trees better and build better nests.

Proverbs 1:5-7 (ESV)

5 Let the wise hear and increase in learning,

and the one who understands obtain guidance,

6 to understand a proverb and a saying,

the words of the wise and their riddles.

7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;

fools despise wisdom and instruction.

2 Timothy 3:16 (ESV)

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

Luke 14:28-32 (ESV)

28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.

Matthew 7:24-27 (ESV)

Build Your House on the Rock

24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

We Christians are called to be lifelong learners. We do not stop once we experience the New Birth. We do not stop learning once we experience full salvation/sanctification. In fact, we will never experience the fullness of God unless we continue to study and be restored into the image of Christ. Paul reminds us in Philippians 3:13-14 that we are to continually be learning and growing in the LORD.

One of the greatest aspects about being a disciple of Jesus is this very fact of learning and growing and becoming the person that God has called us to be in this life. We are to rejoice in the fact that we have the ability to grow and advance in God's Kingdom. John Wesley believed that even after we die and are resurrected we will be able to grow in holiness.

5. Squirrels teach us to enjoy life to its fullest!

We all know that squirrels can be pest. They get into our bird feeders and they gnaw on things that we don't think that they should. They eat our flowers and our plants. But who does not enjoy watching them run and play.

It is difficult to watch a squirrel and not enjoy how they play, how they run and down trees and how they jump from branch to branch. Squirrels have been known to play with all kinds of things including pine cones, footballs, children, dogs and even cats.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-28 (ESV)

16 Rejoice always

Ecclesiastes 11:9 (ESV)

9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.

John 16:24 (ESV)

24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

Like our friends the squirrels, the LORD wants us to live an abundant and rejoicing life. I love the fact that in John 16:24 it is God's will that our joy be filled even if it means that God has to supernaturally give us joy.

What can we learn from our squirrel friends?

1. Be a good steward of our earth.

2. We can learn to adapt and adjust.

3. We can understand that God has set a rhythm for life - follow it.

4. We can understand that God has called us to be lifelong learners.

5. We can understand that God wants us to live life to its fullest!