Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "God Be With You"1 (Lyrics)
I'm anticipating that sharing my friend's dream will boost your faith as it does mine. She said:
- In my dream, I was lying down. A swarm of bees hovered six inches over my entire body. One bee stung my foot, and I jerked. My reaction provoked the entire swarm, and I got stung many more times. I panicked and tried to get the bees off me.
We get it! We've experienced the first sting, those unforeseen disruptions — bad news, a stinging insult, a sudden inconvenience, or our own humiliating blunder. Whether minor or major, that first sting unsettles us. Our thoughts become disturbed and distracted. That's what makes us vulnerable to that swarm of bees hovering over us, poised to sting us with a blitz of self-defeating temptations.
My friend's bee dream had alerted her to temptations, which had begun to play on her mind after an earlier incident (her first sting). She said, "Satan tempts me to fear, self-condemnation, doubt, holding grudges, and becoming hopeless. He tries to keep me from forgiving and loving people."
We've all experienced such assaults of temptation. But have we recognized them as such? Have we been alert to that hovering swarm of bees? More significantly, have we been aware of a shield-like layer between us and the swarm? I mean God's hovering Spirit — as our shield of faith. Only when we stay still, remaining restful in His presence, can we resist those stingers. That's what the psalmist learned to do — as you see here:
Psalm 118:12 – They swarmed around me like bees, but they died out as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them off. (NIV)
This psalmist trusted God, not armies, to defend him from mere mortals. Embracing God as his shield of faith, he deflected the enemy's power to intimidate him.
Now, let's consider the sting which our human race is currently enduring: the COVID-19 virus. Indisputably, reaction across the globe has provoked an enormous swarm of bees. We're all too familiar with the resulting havoc on every level — conflict, division, broken relationships, bitterness, distrust, hopelessness — threatening to destroy humanity more than any virus ever could!
I dare say that such troubles are largely fueled by an idolatrous trust in human effort to ultimately shield us from our one universal fear: the fear of death. Instead of crying out to God, even pinning all our hopes on science and technology to save us can be idolatry. We can't fix ourselves, because we can't eradicate the deadliest sting of all: sin. "The sting of death is sin". (1 Corinthians 15:56a NIV)
Really, is sin not that first sting inflicted on humanity? But Christ has conquered that sting! The passage continues:
1 Corinthians 15:57 – But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (NIV)
Let's allow that thought to deepen our appreciation for the Christian hope!
Prayer: O Lord, how our world needs Your healing power! For You alone can extract the lethal sting of sin and give new life — Your forever-lasting life. Thank You that in You, not even the deadliest swarm of bees can separate us from Your love. Amen! Amen!