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Daily Encounter: A Week-day Devotional by Richard (Dick) Innes of ACTS International.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Lessons from Rabbits

"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves."1

Scientists were studying the impact of a high-cholesterol diet on heart disease. To measure this effect, they fed a group of genetically similar rabbits the same high-cholesterol diet. To their amazement, half the rabbits developed heart troubles, while the others were normal, with no noticeable heart disease.

This outcome was not explainable, so they bought new rabbits and repeated the study. At the end of two weeks, they obtained the same results. Something was wrong with the research design, but they could not determine the unaccountable variable.

Eventually, they discovered that during the evening the assistant who fed and cared for the rabbits took the rabbits out of their cages and cuddled them and petted them while she changed their bedding and food. However, because she was short, she could not reach the rabbits on the top shelf, so they were simply fed and changed without being picked up. Sure enough, after two weeks, the rabbits on the top row all had heart disease, while the rabbits on the bottom row were healthy. The environment and diet were exactly the same. The only variable was expressed love through touching.2

I'm not suggesting that we ignore a healthy diet. Not at all! But every one of us also needs a healthy diet of love and affection if we are to be and stay healthy.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be so filled with Your love that I will always be loving and affectionate towards my loved ones and also (with discretion) to all the people You bring into my life. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Romans 12:9–10 (NIV).
2. By Marvin Wray in "Wit and Wisdom."

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