We have beekeepers in our church family at The Vine. Their bees make the most wonderful-tasting honey. Of course they are really God’s bees. Everything we have really comes from God.
I’ve been thinking about just how extraordinary bees are. I’m writing this in July, and there are bees of different kinds buzzing around in my garden. They especially seem to like a plant called Lamb’s Ear. I was reading the other day that female bees line their nests with hairs from these furry leaves. They are busy from dawn till dusk. They must be using up so much energy with the beating of those wings. Where do they get it from?
Apparently most bees in Britain are solitary rather than of the swarming kind. They nest individually. Eggs are laid on a nutritious cake of nectar and pollen. When the adult bee dies the young can feed on the stores left for them. Friends gave me a couple of ‘bee hotels’ for my garden, and quite a few of the rooms are now ‘booked.’ One of the bee hotels says ‘Don’t worry – bee happy’ on it.
It’s just over a year since my wife Karin died. She liked bees and always wanted to be a beekeeper. I’ve had fun making a tribute garden of wild flowers. In fact, God gave me a helping hand. Karin’s funeral flowers were pansies of different colours, in pots. After the funeral they got left near my front door while I tried to get on with life. The front lawn was burnt to a crisp as the long hot summer wore on. Unbeknown to me the pansies seeded all over the front lawn and then the autumn rains came… In the spring scores of beautiful pansies appeared, blooming in time for my wife’s birthday. They were there all through Easter, purple and white and gold, and they saluted the anniversary of her death. Eventually there were over a thousand of them, lasting several months. Although a natural miracle, to me it had the fingerprints of God all over it as well.
Through all the changing scenes of life God moves in a mysterious way, as the old hymns declare. I’ve found this to be true. Great troubles can come upon us, but God is always there working things out, giving us fresh hope, sending encouragement when we need it. Flowers and bees may be like the angelic messengers of old. The faces of the pansies seemed to be saying to me ‘don’t be afraid.’ Those busy bees are bringing good cheer, and I’m learning not to worry and to be happy.
Jesus used to say, ‘Look at the flowers of the field.’ If God can give such beautiful ‘clothes’ to flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, we can be quite sure he will give us everything we need to live.
That honey tastes so good. Psalm 34 in my Bible says ‘Taste and see that the Lord is good.’ We are blessed when we make God our home and our nourishment.
The seasons move on and summer turns into autumn, but God our Father loves us all year round. He gives us peace in our hearts through trusting in Jesus. He sends us whispers from heaven by his Holy Spirit – ‘Don’t be afraid. I’m here. I won’t leave you. Look around and see what I’m doing.’