A Study of Common Rats

by Sanctified Brother

(Sermon Synopsis)

There was an intriguing study done (presumably at Duke University) that involved putting common rats in a smooth-sided barrel filled with water to see how long it would take before the helpless rats drowned. Drowning was to be their reality, no matter their effort: the water was too deep for them to rest their feet on the bottom and it was far enough from the top that they couldn’t jump out. The average time before they expired was 17 minutes.

The researchers reviewed their study and drew their conclusions. They decided to repeat the study with a twist.

They put a new sampling of rats in the barrel of water and allowed them to flail around in desperation, just like the first sampling. The first twist to the experiment required the researchers to take the rats out shortly before they drowned.

The rats were then dried off, given food to eat, and allowed to play with the other rats. They felt relieved and were eager to continue with life. They did not know that the second twist of the modified experiment involved putting them back into the barrel to see how long before they died. The difference this time was staggering: the old average was 17 minutes before drowning while the new average was 36 hours.

The difference was hope. The first sampling of rats knew nothing put panic and a watery grave. The second sampling nearly drowned and experienced a hand reaching down from above and taking them to safety, restoring them, and offering them an abundant life. They remembered this when they faced adversity the second time. They knew they had to hold on a little longer because they believed help was on the way. That was their experience and that was their belief: it happened before so it can happen again. Help is on the way!

Jesus Christ, the loving Savior, reaches down from above to rescue us from dying a sinner’s death. He forgives us and starts our lives over with peace and better opportunities than we had before. These are facts that we have to keep in mind as we face our daily struggles. We won’t die as a controlled group in a study, the way the rats did. There is a God in heaven who is concerned about out well-being and is willing to intervene on our behalf.

Read this: Isaiah 41:10