Stephen & Laura Holt | Sierra Leone, West Africa

Lessons from the Honey Bee

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The bees had already finished their morning work by the time I snapped these cucumber blossoms

Early morning garden ambling is always instructive; it’s a time I love in my cherished place.  I have two full, beautiful mounds of summer squash which are now blooming and producing profusely.  Their orange-yellow blossoms glow in the dimness of the early morning.  Even before there is much evidence of life anywhere else, these blossoms are just loaded with honey bees.  One might think there were a swarm or hive nearby for the sound these little creatures make.  They are early about their Father’s business, doing exactly that for which they were designed.  This morning, on my little prayer stool, I received several lessons from the industrious honey bee.

The first was somewhat painful.  The bees were created for a purpose.  As I watched them, Revelation 4:11 came to mind – –  “for thy pleasure they are and were created.”  How often do my actions bring pleasure to the Creator?  Father, please show me how I displease you, where I withhold the pleasure which is your due.

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View of the village from my garden, a  great vantage point for offering prayers for evangelism

The next lesson was motivating.  The bees are about their work early; the blossoms are only open a short time and even as I watched the morning light brightening, the flowers were beginning to fade.  The time to work was quickly passing and there was a discernible drop in the buzzing of wings; the flurry of the work was past.  The day of Christ is at hand; we must work before that day dawns.

This being Friday, it is town evangelism day.  Here, too, the bees are instructive.  Bees carry life-giving pollen from one flower to another.  These tiny grains are like the word of God fitly spoken and dropped in hearts along the way.  Sitting on my little stool in the garden, I view the town and offer prayers that the words of life, carried forth by faithful workers, will pollinate the hearts of the hearers and spring up into life eternal.

Worker bees preparing to depart the church (hive) for village evangelism

As the sun continued to rise and the bees, having finished their morning work, headed for home, one last thought occurred prompting prayer in a different direction.  Bees fiercely defend their hives; no bee who does not belong to that hive will be granted admittance.  Yet, out in the field, the world, they work side by side bringing life to the fruiting blossoms.  Bees from different hives may even work the same blossom harmoniously together.  They then fly away, parting as friends, to return to their respective hives.  Is there not a lesson in that, a cause for prayer?  In the harvest field our labors may cross that of others.  They may be of a different hive; they may have slightly differing doctrinal emphases or diversities of operations and administrations, yet, they too are bees carrying the words of life.  We can and should harmoniously labor in the field and be busy about the work of our Father – together.

Thank you Father for speaking so vividly to me this morning through your marvelous creation, the lowly and indefatigable honey bee.

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Partner bees, Zainab and Moses, carrying the words of life

 

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