Well, it had to happen sooner or later. Last week I got stung by a bee.
Here’s a shot of our beehives from my (sorry looking) flowerbed, right about where I was pulling weeds that day.
Now here’s the back story:
We’ve been in a critical drought status for over a month now, and a significant drought before that. The volunteers in my flowerbed have done just fine. The evening primrose, native boneset, and autumn asters have continued to bloom in spite of the overly dry soil. Most of the rest gave up long ago, so I’ve got a spacious area of brown decorating the corner of our property!
Since most of the plants gave up, so did I. I stopped visiting, because beauty was hard to find, and now the bees no longer recognize my scent. That’s the first part of the backstory.
The second part has to do with hubby. His schedule has been wacky this year, with little time left to spend with the buzzy girls. As fall weather has gotten cooler and nectar sources are scarce, it was time to put some jars of sugar syrup in the hives as an additional food source.
His one open day happened to fall under clouds. If you know anything about bees, you know they don’t like cloudy days! They get grumpy (sounds like some of us, too!).
Since he hasn’t spent a ton of time with them, they didn’t recognize him, either.
So grumpy bees that didn’t know why he was invading their home (even though he had the best of intentions) on a cloudy day (when they woke up grumpy already) with some strange creature mere feet from the hive ripping things out of the ground . . . someone had to pay!!!
They tried to get hubby, but he was all dressed up for the occasion in his bee suit. I, on the other hand, was not. They’d never bothered with me before, why would I worry about it even if he warned me about how grumpy they were?? I wasn’t messing with their home, he was!
And that is how I ended up getting stung.
Now here’s a shot I took under blue skies from a foot away yesterday–not one of them cared that I was right there! What a difference a sunny day makes.
Intention versus Perception
This (slightly) painful (and itchy) experience had a lot of similarities with something that happened a few weeks ago with a friend.
The honeybees perceived hubby and I as threats, when that was not at all our intention. Hubby was helping them, and I just happened to be in the vicinity.
In the same way my friend misunderstood many of my intentions, perceiving things about my character that completely floored me and sent me into a tailspin. I’m still fighting with self doubt where I had none, and weakness where I thought I was strong.
My identity was shaken, and I just couldn’t find stable ground.
This morning I read this in a devotional: “If the opinion of your friend is causing insecurity, you might be living a lie” (Lisa Schwarz).
Well, then, it’s time to remember a few truths about who I am in Christ!
First of all, I’m so thankful that God sees and knows my heart. I don’t have to prove anything to him. I don’t have to be “good enough” to be accepted.
“Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.”Colossians 1:22 NLT
Jesus paid for my messes and failures with his own blood. Who am I to argue with the King of kings, believing that I should go hide in a cave somewhere so I don’t cause any more harm? He is my Judge and my Defender.
Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.Romans 8:33-34
Secondly, I was not created to be identical to anyone else on the planet. I was created to be and to do differently than others, because who I am is needed. Who I am has nothing to do with what role I fulfill, because it comes out no matter where I am or what I’m doing!
- I love challenges and problem solving, which can come across as meddling.
- I am task-driven and I get things done, often with hyperfocus that can come across as short.
- I don’t play mind games. I say what I mean, and assume you will, too.
- I try to stick to the facts. We can’t know everything about the whys behind someone’s actions.
- Rules are important to me, which can make me seem like a stick-in-the-mud.
No matter how different I am from everyone else, I am a child of the same Father, created with a purpose.
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.1 Corinthians 12:6
Regardless of what others think of my no-nonsense self, I can rest in knowing that I am loved deeply by my Creator and Savior.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:38-39
Not even my inner struggles and flounderings can separate me from his love. He’s been here the whole time, waiting for me to remember and grab hold of his Truth.
Now it’s your turn!
What are truths about your identity in Christ that reground you when you feel shaken? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!