The Tidelands

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
"Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world." Acts 15:1818Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. (Acts 15:18)
As we travel along a coastal highway, the changing views of ocean, woods and meadows can be very pleasant. But occasionally the road may pass a swamp or backwater bay which, when the tide is out, is so muddy and unattractive that we may pass by it with hardly a glance. Do you wonder why God made such places in His otherwise beautiful creation?
He made no mistake in any of His creation, so you may be sure that these areas, which are called tidelands, form an important part of His "balance of nature." Most of these areas are covered permanently, or at least part of the time, with a shallow mixture of salt water from the ocean and fresh water from a stream or river. For birds, fish, small animals and many insects this is a real paradise, and many of them could not live anywhere else.
Let's take a closer look at a tideland. At first it appears unattractive with a few birds here and there being the only visible life. But there is quite a bit more to it than that. First are low bushes, reeds, cattails, sea grass, clumps of flowers and other vegetation, many kinds of birds and numerous other forms of wildlife that enjoy the privacy of all this greenery. We can see that over long periods of time this vegetation has dropped blossoms, leaves and stalks, producing a soggy mat over the area. This, added to organic material floating in from the sea or washed down from the land, has made a very rich "soup" for the lives of numerous creatures.
Here is a wonderful home for all kinds of creeping, flying and hopping insects, many amphibians, as well as small animals—mice, muskrats, rabbits and others. The tidelands also provide a rest stop for migrating birds which arrive in great numbers to eat, rest and regain their strength before continuing their travels.
In this wetland numerous kinds of shellfish thrive, enjoying the rich food as the water flows over them. Many fish also swim in with the tide and feed on the "soup." Before departing on the outgoing tide, some will lay eggs in selected spots. The more we investigate, the more life we find. We know, too, that much invisible food for the water-dwellers is there as well.
Don't you think that our stop at the tidelands has been worthwhile? Through this inspection we realize a little more how the Lord God so carefully and wisely supplies for every need of the creatures He has brought into the world. But none of them are able to think about the One who takes care of them. Neither can they thank Him for this kindness. We do not expect them to know that "the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein" (Psa. 24:11<<A Psalm of David.>> The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. (Psalm 24:1)).
But every boy and girl and every man and woman who is able to understand how He has provided for us should be ready to "give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever" (Psa. 106:11Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psalm 106:1)). Do you remember to thank Him every day?