Bee Encouraged

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
Habakkuk 3:18

Bzzzz. Bzzzz.

​I sprang up off of my couch like a jack-in-the-box, head darting side to side. Bzzz bzzzz​. I tiptoed toward the dreaded sound, heart racing. I sucked in a breath and slowly reached to pull back the gauzy white window curtain of my usually-peaceful apartment. Please be a fly. Please. Pleeeeease. I did not find a fly, but instead, my personal nemesis: a bee.

Since my roommate was out and I was too embarrassed to call a neighbor, it fell to me to rid the place of this sinister creature. In full-blown panic mode, I donned battle gear: a long-sleeved shirt, baseball hat, boots, socks for gloves, and the all-important weapon, a shoe. Moving like a commando on a raid, I approached the intruder. Briefly, I shrank back thinking maybe I could call someone.​​Then, in a burst of courage: Whack!

Let’s just say I looked and acted ridiculously.

I am not proud of the fact that I killed the bee that day, and probably many more after. I was terrorized by them and the thought of their painful stings. Interestingly enough, I had never even been stung before. I just had an innate sense of danger. You could say I was born with a fear of bees, clinically called melissaphobia or apiphobia.

This fear stayed with me until God began to grow an appreciation in me for nature and the creatures He made—including the formerly-dreaded bees. I will admit it was a slow-growing affinity, but I can honestly say I have learned to love bees. Yes, I said it. I love bees.

God’s brilliant creativity is amazingly manifested in the little creatures. Over 4,000 species of bees are found in the U.S. and over 22,000 around the world, each one having its preferences for food, habitat, and communication style. I love the fact that honey bees dance to communicate with one another. How cute is that? If that’s not impressive enough, think about the fact that bees have split ends on their body hair which generates static electricity, thus helping them hold onto the pollen they collect. What a God! I think one of my favorite things about bumblebees is that they perform buzz pollination on certain flowers to release the pollen. This means that the bumblebees will grab their chosen flower and vibrate their flight muscles, thereby shaking the pollen loose for them to gather. Some scientists believe the bees know how much vibration to use based on the type of flower they choose.

The Lord meticulously designed these little guys and gave them a big job. The American Beekeeping Federation estimates that bees contribute nearly twenty billion dollars to the value of US crop production. God uses bees to help feed people.

How could I hate that? The more I read about bees, the more I love their fuzzy little bodies and the work that they do.

God’s power, showcased in nature by the intricate lives of bees, should encourage all of us in several ways:

  • He created and knows you.
    Before I formed you in the womb I knew you (Jeremiah 1:5)
  • He has a purpose for you.
    “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
  • He will equip you.
    Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21)

God’s equipping will very likely include some skillful shaping, sanding, and forging to make you a usable vessel for His work. You can trust that when you find yourself in difficult circumstances, God is not surprised—and in fact, is doing a work in your life. The very situation that seems harmful is the conduit of God’s creative, redemptive, sanctifying, and purpose-infusing power.

Now that’s buzzworthy.

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