The behavioural adaptations of Emperor Penguins has long amazed me. Of particular interest has been the way these beautiful Antarctic creatures birth, care for, and bring up their young in -40°C (-40°F) to -60°C (-74°F) temperatures.
Breeding occurs during the winter so the young are grown enough by summer to be independent. They make no nest. Instead the eggs are kept warm by resting off the ice on the males feet covered by a fold of skin while the female departs to seek food. These excursions last 115 to 120 days during which time the male must fast. He conserves energy by sleeping 20 to 24 hrs daily. (About the only appealing part of this to most males!)
When the chick is born this procedure continues with parents taking turns carrying the young one thus freeing the other to hunt for food.
To keep warm during the bitter cold Emperor penguins form a heat-conserving huddle, a large circle of penguins which encircles the more grown young. The penguins take turns on the outermost ring of this circle where they must bear the fullest blast of the Antarctic wind and blowing snow. It’s a remarkable system really, and succeeds only because each penguin is faithful to simply stand firm.
Standing firm was the much appreciated topic of our brother Joseph Irwin’s message this past Sunday.
In these days of difficulty we must all “stand firm” as faithful disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Word of God exhorts us…
“Be steadfast, immovable… Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” (1 Cor. 15:58; 16:13).
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil…. so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (Eph. 6:11…13..).
“Conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that… I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the Gospel… stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.” (Phil. 1:27; 4:1).
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Pet. 5:8-9).