Sometimes unusual things happen. We had one of those this week. We have a food freezer that is located in a garage. We don't visit this appliance every day. Which means that we aren't always aware of what is happening around it. It is removed from our line of site. Near this freezer was an ice chest with several coats laying on top of it. This week Garry needed to put some items into the freezer. To make this easier for himself and to help with balance, he put the bag of items intended for the freezer on top of the coats. It was convenient and a very innocent thing to do......except! Unknown to him, a colony of small bumble bees had taken up residence in the heap of old coats and the mere act of dropping something on top of them set them off in an angry response! They came out of their coat home ready to fight and came out rapidly! And he almost as rapidly left the garage area to a place of safety. Garry came in nursing his sting and calmly told us that "We have a problem!" I was certain he was going to tell us that our freezer had quit working! Or something even worse. No, he was just telling us of the hazards of putting things in the freezer. Needless to say, all those things to put in the freezer, were left out to thaw! He refused to go back to get them until well after dark and I couldn't blame him. When he did go back, it was with a big thick winter coat on, heavy leather gloves, face bug shield net with a hat! He grabbed the food and put it away and then hurried away himself. He then let peace reign for 2 days!! Two nights later, he dressed up again and very carefully grabbed the coats and gave them a sling out of the garage and onto a grassy area. Then---revengeful I think---he took the car and drove back and forth over those coats with the bees in them! Aren't we supposed to let God be the judge and the one who metes out punishments? Apparently 20 bees and larva cannot hold up a car. The next morning he inspected his revenge!
The life of a bee is complicated! I am willing to bet that most do not know this: The bumblebee queen can lay two types of egg; fertilized eggs that become either workers or queens and unfertilized eggs which become males. So bumblebee males are fatherless. As the queen lays the egg she decides whether or not to fertilize it. The fertilized eggs develop into workers (females), and the unfertilized eggs develop into males. The queen lays unfertilized eggs only towards the end of the colony life. After she has laid male eggs she may lay fertilized eggs that will become queens, but she will not lay any more eggs that will develop into workers, so the laying of male eggs signals the start of the end of a colony. It is possible for workers (without mating) to lay unfertilized eggs that will develop into males, however workers cannot produce queens or other workers. Some workers try to lay eggs of their own, and may even attempt to eat eggs laid by the queen (eating their own sisters). This leads to aggression between worker and worker, and worker and queen. In many cases the more persistent workers will succeed in laying some eggs that will reach maturity. The queen will also attempt to eat worker-laid eggs (her own grandsons) and head butts and bites her daughters to try to maintain her dominance.
On this weekend of honoring our fathers, it does not seem like fatherhood in a bee colony is important! I am glad that I am not a bee!
I have to admit, I have not had a lot of positive thoughts the last couple of weeks. Weeks of unending pain have taken a toll on me. There have been moments of happiness but then I have reverted back to my self-centeredness and more negative than positive attitudes. Shame on me. My poor husband has had to endure my self-centeredness. He did it with love and care. I wish that I could take back some of my thoughts and words but I can't! They are now out there--for me to remember, for some to hear, and most of all they are written in God's book of remembrance. Now all I can say is please forgive me. My excuse for my self-centeredness has been the pain in my knee and hip. I like to think that I am pretty pain tolerant but apparently I have my limits. The time of my tolerance had run out and many knew that. So......
This week I had knee surgery! Just the word surgery when it concerns me does things to my mind which in turn does things to me physically. I don't think I needed trouble added to trouble. But it happened. God has designed our bodies to respond to the things that happen to us. In my case, I found out that I don't respond to stress well at all! It is sad that we let our minds dwell on what is wrong when we should instead let our minds dwell on the Righter of Wrongs. Let this be one of the important lessons that I learned this week.
But--I still found God in my life! He is my ultimate Father! We always have Father Love even though we may no longer have an earthly father--earthly fathers that we can hope to hug again on the grand resurrection day. I am waiting for that day! In the meantime, I saw Father God in the care and faces of many around me. My brothers showed me the love of Father God in their care and concern and advice. I saw God in how my husband overlooked my attitudes and forgave me. I saw God in my sons who expressed their concern and were praying. I saw God when I pleaded for help and received it without reservation. I called out in need and was answered. We needed help and then received that help with moving things in our house to make my recovery easier. God sees what we need and provides before we ask sometimes. We had another difficult nasty job to do that was being procrastinated. But just as God can answer before we call, our difficult job was done almost before we called and we are so very very thankful!
And I saw God in the doctor and nurses and other medical persons. They reminded me of the healing that God provided for the crowds of the many who needed healing as they followed Jesus. I have so many reasons to remember the love and care and compassion given me as I honor them all this coming Father's Day. Lastly, I remember and give thanks for my own father. It seems like so many of my good memories have him included in those memories. I treasure those memories. He was the permanence in my life, the pillar of strength that we depended on. Without him, I am sure I would not relate to my Heavenly Father as I should. He taught me what a Father means. I will forever miss him but know that I will see him again!
I think we all can agree: this world is filled with illness, negativity and brokenness. The heartache, the frustrations, inequalities and injustices seem to increase daily. The hopefulness of the beginning of the New Year has spiraled to wars, pandemics, fears and hatred. It’s hard for me to understand how far this “rabbit hole” can go--when our lives will no longer be hurt by these things. There is one thing I know. This is my Father’s world. In some situations this may seem laughable and in some it seems so sad. I do not know your circumstances or your thoughts about God. But I KNOW, without a shadow of a doubt, He is still God, He still has a plan for each of us, and He still walks beside us in the valley shadows. As Creator, he laid claim to our world. And when we stray, His life, death and resurrection still lays claim to our souls. When I accept His dominion of this universe and in my heart, an entirely new and beautiful world is opened.
Regardless of what I face this week or how heavy or hurt my heart may be, my all-powerful Father is ready to walk beside me – carry me if need be – through every challenge this world brings my way. He has the power to replace every negative and broken situation with hope and healing. I KNOW this is true. He’s done it for me. One day the Father will do away with all these things that sin has brought into this world--like bees that sting and cause you to destroy them with no choice and it has brought painful knees to many needing relief. It leads us to wanting a perfect world where we won't have to make choices we don't want to make. He’s the Father of my hope and freedom. He’s my Dad. The question everyone must ask...“Am I inviting Him to be the Father of my world today?”