Estes Echo

The Limpet and the Rock

There is a little sea creature called Noto acmaea testudinalis. It is a little gastropod animal having arched, non-spiraling shells with broad ventral openings. These little things are all over the world. They cling tenaciously to rocks and submerged timber. They are better known as Limpets.

The BBC recently reported that scientists have measured the strength of the teeth of the ubiquitous limpet. These persistent creatures use their “teeth” to cling to rocks. High-tech measurements indicated that these small creatures’ teeth are stronger than all but the very strongest of man-made substances–tougher than Kevlar and many high performance carbon fiber materials. Imagine a piece of spaghetti holding 3,000 two-pound bags of sugar; that’s an equivalent strength.

The lives of these small creatures revolves around clinging to the sides of a rock and clinging tenaciously to it. They face their biggest danger when they leave the rock where they have made their home–a small scraped out place in the rock’s surface.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon made use of the limpet in the following illustration.

Our little friend the limpet does not know much, but he clings. He cannot tell us much about what he is clinging to, is not acquainted with the geological formation of the rock, but he clings! He has found something to cling to; and with his little bit of knowledge, he uses it to cling to the rock of his salvation; it is the limpet’s life to cling. Thousands of God’s people have no more faith than this; they know to cling to Jesus with all their heart and soul and this suffices. Jesus Christ is to them a Savior strong and mighty.and they cleave to him as to a rock unmoveable and immutable.

“In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God” (Psa. 62:7).

I cannot comprehend the nature of God, but I believe (Job. 9:10). God is beyond my comprehension. Where my feeble understanding fails, faith takes over. I need no deep and complicated explanation of my God in heaven in order to have a faith that keeps me in the cleft of the Rock of Ages. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psa. 61:2).

O Rock in the desert, I fly unto thee,
When tempest and storms sweep the sky.
I hide in the cleft that was riven for me,
For safety on Thee I rely.