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The Art of Hibernation
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“Hibernation is a state of inactivity and metabolic depression in animals, characterized by lower body temperature, slower breathing, and/or lower metabolic rate,” according to Wikipedia.

It’s that time of year when animals prepare for hibernation – a time when it’s easy to imagine a big ole brown bear putting on the feed bag so he or she can happily snooze through frosty months in their cozy dens. And they’re not the only creatures who protect themselves from the elements by sleeping away months of severe weather.

I happen to love earthworms and get some sort of a thrill out of running across the wiggly things when planting bulbs or flowers. Seeing them lets me know that the planting bed is being well aerated. But I never realized my squishy friends hibernated. When it starts to get cold, worms dig down below where the frost will reach them—sometimes seven or eight feet into the ground where they’ll be free from frost. And when the soil warms, they come back to the surface.


Another favorite of mine—the feisty chipmunk—chooses a safe burrow and hibernates intermittently. Called torpor, their heartbeats and breathing slow down and their body temperatures drop really low, which means they need less food to stay alive. These “sleep” times might last a few days, a week, or more.

Hibernation – sounds like a great way to spend time when being assailed by the freezing storms of life. Put on extra clothes, store up food, and burrow in! Hibernating animals pick a safe place to spend the winter away from enemies, but for Christians, there’s only One safe place and instead of sleeping, we need to be on guard. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.”

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By Dee Litten Reed. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW LIVING TRANSLATION © .

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