The Bug Spray

Friday, August 13, 2021
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Sound The Battle Cry"1 (Lyrics)

Psalm 119:105 – Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. (NIV)

Bugs, bugs, bugs are everywhere this summer: in our hair, in our eyes, in our mouths, in the house, in the car, under our clothes, in the bed. A person just can't get away from them! I have therefore been using a prodigious amount of bug spray to keep the pesky creatures at bay.

As I have been fighting with them, the thought came to my mind that the insect kinds of bugs are not the only bugs that we are called to deal with in this life. I think that you know what I mean: those little irritations and frustrations that are caused by people around us that can simply bug us to death if we let them.

  • People who spray graffiti on everything from public walls and sidewalks to rocks and mountains.
  • Those who never pick up after themselves.
  • The ones who love to cut in front of us in line at the grocery store.
  • People who eat with their mouths open.
  • Those who think that making certain body noises better left, never smelt, are hilarious.
  • People who shove down the garbage in the can just a little bit farther to avoid having to take it out when they should.
  • Those who don't rinse the toothpaste out of the sink.
  • The ones who don't change the empty toilet paper roll.
  • And the list goes on and on.

I'm sure that each of us has our own personal, favourite bug, just as I have mine: when people peel their clothes off and leave them turned inside out as they toss them into the hamper, meaning that I have to turn them right side out before I can throw them into the washer. If I do not swat this bug of irritation immediately, it can actually end up making me fuss and fume all day long. I don't know about you, but I feel that life is just too short to waste so much time and energy on these little bugs.

So, what do I do? What can you do? Use the Word of God to discipline our minds against these bugs, these irritations that like to try to drive us nuts. Use God's Word to remind us to be patient, to be kind, to be humble, to turn the other cheek, to speak the truth in love (the key word being love), to serve rather than to be served, to show mercy, to forgive, to persevere. For by doing so, we can replace the irritation these bugs cause us with spiritual growth and even laughter.

So today, as we go about our day, and those pesky bugs beset us, let's be wise and get the better of them before they get the better of us.

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the life with which You have blessed us. Help each of us today to live it to the fullest by focusing on the ways that You choose to deal with the things that we do that bug You: being patient and kind with us, humble and merciful, forgiving and loving, persistent and persevering day by day with all our faults, because You love us and call us to love one another. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <lynnephippsatlin@gmail.com>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.


    Great reminder, Lynne. Thanks and blessings!


    WOW, Lynne! What a good one today. THANKS.


    Thanks Lynne, do stay safe.
    Blessings.


    LOL. So true!! You always make me chuckle!! Thanks.
    (B.C.)


    Thank you, Lynne. That’s quite a list! And good biblical advice for reacting to each one.


    Thank you for this. It is so true and so applicable now in the summertime but true at all times.


    Been a while since I read any of your devotionals Lynne, BUT, as always they inspire me.


    Your devotional today hit me in the right place. I feel as you do and will try to put your ideas to work in my life. Thank you.


    Thanks for another great devotion, Lynne.
    P.S. Sometimes I ‘d like to be a frog because they can eat what bugs them. LOL


    Good one, Lynne, good for today especially! Thank you. We look forward to your writings.
    (NH USA)


    Dear Lynne,
    Thank you for the humorous presentation of bugs and how to deal with them all. Aren’t we blessed by our God who forgives us when we “bug” Him.


    Well, Lynne, I chuckled as I read today’s devotional. It is perfect and such a good reminder of what is really important.
    Thank you.


    Lynne, I needed this good reminder today as I am visiting some extended family who can “pesty and pesky”. You reminded me I have the holy spirit to help me exercise patience and grace. Thank you!


    Thanks for helping me focus on my attitudes.
    I’m trying to memorize 1 Cor 13: 4-7. Helps me to reset; it’s my “bug spray”!
    Bless you Lynne, stay cool, stay safe!
    (BC)


    Dear Lynn, thank you for today’s meditation.
    It was fun to read all the things on the list of the bugs which make our life difficult.
    While I was reading, I was smiling, for I could only think, I agree with you.
    (ON)


    O Lynne, I have been working on doing a comic strip about Bugs with various amusing-to-me, titles! And then you go and give it so much depth here. Maybe it’s, ‘You BUG me!’ (only with REAL bugs…). Encourages me today, all these lovely bugisms! Thanks again.


    The graffiti one is a big bug for me, but as I was reading this, God spoke. Perhaps those that are doing the graffiti are just begging to make their mark somewhere. They feel rejected or unseen. What can I do to help those around me that are begging to be seen?


    Good morning Lynne,
    Spectacular devotional !
    This strikes a nerve with me (something my fiancé does, and I wonder, why?? I was feeling it so badly yesterday, and asking God for patience, and voila! There you were writing about it!
    God is Glorious,
    Thank you so much for this reminder of the key word – LOVE!!


    Always enjoy and learn from your devotionals – Plus they share well with the group of seniors I visit in Long Term Care.
    But did you know that according to the experts, clothes should be turned inside out for washing? Yes, I know if you need to pretreat stains you will have to have them right side out, but otherwise inside out does protect and lengthen the life of most clothes.
    Hope the wildfires are not close to you.


    Thank you. I laughed right out loud with this reading, and I felt lighter for it! When my husband was working, he wore dress shirts which were removed with one sleeve turned inside out. I begrudgingly turned it while muttering. Finally, I just quit. Pressed the shirt as I found it. He’s a quick learner. But I have no idea why I don’t take these kinds of issues to God sooner. So, thank you for your very real writing. Our central Manitoba nights are single digits, so most bugs are gone. Not many this year to begin with as we are so dry. Keep well.


    Dear Lynne,
    So good to read your devotional this morning and oh how I can agree with you about the excess of bugs this year. I don’t know when I have ever used so much bug spray when I go out in the back yard. I also agree with what you say about how our Lord handles the things we do which “bug” Him. His response is always loving and forgiving, and we need to learn the same response in dealing with the actions of those around us. Blessings for these very special and “right on” writings you do.


    A joyful good morning to you. My daughter and I will be going over to work in our women’s Thrift Shop to put in our time. I work the desk and she helps out where needed, and I BUG her for help — someone dumps a huge amount of clothes that are so mixed up. It’s easy when we have a special on kids’ clothes, or adult clothes.
    We are dealing with many bugs, but things are getting better as we do our best. Today is Friday the 13th so hope it will not stop some from going out. That’s my bug story before we meet them face again. Of course, we never have them at home. That’s another buggy story. But God is with us as we do our best with His help. Thank you, Lynn, for your sharing that I always look forward to. I’ll bug you with our special verse, Jer. 33:3. I love to share it after over 70 years. God loves you and so do I.


    Good morning Lynne,
    I have spent too much of my time over the years on “bugs” until I learned that I can only control what I do and that is difficult enough. The Holy Spirit can help me when I am going off on something that I cannot control and help me focus on the things that I can work on. Age definitely improves my patience miraculously. “Let Go and Let God” is a quick slogan that comes to mind when I am wasting my energy on stewing over something that is out of my control.
    Well, your description of the bugs you are facing in north BC is making me itch just by reading it. If you cannot even go indoors to get rid of them, that is too much.
    Thank you for being willing to share your thoughts so we can learn and grow in our own faith and remember the importance of His Word to help us.
    As I join with you in your prayer, help me to remember that I “bug” God and others and I need patience and forgiveness also. Let me dwell on the positive and show God’s love to all. May you enjoy the “bugs” and have a good day.


    Hi Lynne:
    I thank you for this meditation. I got a good giggle out of your list, as well as a good message to think about.
    I live with a “husband” that has Alzheimer’s and can relate to every one of the items on your list. I have learned to just overlook them all, except the Bugs. I spent a lot of time in prayer asking for patience in the last year and a half that we have been shut-in.
    I enjoy reading your meditations and have gotten to the point of recognizing you in reading before I look at the name of the writer.
    God Bless you and thank you.


    Dear Lynne,
    I like the “bugs” theme of the message that you wrote.
    You have my appreciation for your contributions to the Presbyterian daily communication to many of us.
    (On)

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