Friday, June 17, 2016

THEFT #22 - Stealin' Back Bees (and...Ephesians)

Donna: “That thing about the bees disappearing.”
Doctor: “The bees disappearing.  The bees disappearing. The bees disappearing!!!”



  "The bees disappearing!!!" says the Doctor in The Stolen Earth. It turns out to be a pretty cool sci-fi plot device for the Doctor remembering that some of the bees are aliens (of course) and are leaving the earth before its implied destruction.  Donna has been bugging the Doctor about "the bees disappearing" before this episode, but he pretty much dismisses it until this moment.  In the story:  it works!

   Guess what?  I found out yesterday that--in the real world--the bees, specifically the honey bees, are actually disappearing! Well, they're "disappearing" in that their population is way down in the United States, and none of the experts are quite sure why. (Big surprise there, eh?)    

      And what revelation prompted my discovery?  All because of swarming honey bees……literally, bunches of honey bees swarming at the front of our house, above a lower front widow, which cause me no small concern. (OK, actually I pretty much freaked out!)

     But the plot thickens (as well as the swarm):  After calling Orkin to come and destroy them, the Orkin service guy showed up to tell me he could not spray pesticide because the bee population is way down.  (Yep, “that thing about the bees disappearing….”, but real.)  And I didn’t want to accept that answer from him, but he was under “orders.”  In the end, he gave me the phone # of a beekeeper whom he said “really wants bees.” 

     What could I do but call the beekeeper, (name of Todd, I found out)? He really surprised me by saying—despite the fact that he lives over an hour from our house by turnpike—that he would come yesterday by around Noon.  Well he got there at 1pm, suited up, and got started, and he just “scraped” the bees into a honey-laden box, and then watched the rest fly down into the box over the course of the next hour or so. 

    Long story short...well... not quite as long, anyway:  By the time Todd left at 3pm, the problem was over, except for a few stray bees flying around, which Todd said would be gone in a day or so.  And when I asked him about his fee, he said “I’m not gonna charge you. It costs me a lot more than this to buy bees.”  All he asked was a small plastic bin with a cover for the bees he caught with the shop-vac.  That’s it.

      Here’s the point of this “sermon” to myself:  If the Orkin guy had actually sprayed, it would have cost $250, but even so, I just wanted the bees gone, so I almost begged him to do it.  But he couldn’t spray because of his company’s policy.  However, because of that policy, I had to call Todd the beekeeper, who charged us nothing. 

    So get this now: This whole chain of events was better for me and my family (obviously), but also better for Todd, because he got a whole bunch of bees, including the queen, for his aviary, at a "net price" which was a lot less than if he had to buy his bees from a larger dealer.  (Apparently many beekeepers get their bees this way.)

    And, of course it’s better for the bees, since they were going to a place where they could freely do what God made them to do, and, just for the ecological record, better for the food supply in the USA, since saving this swarm kept more bees producing honey during a time when their population has been waning.

      Get it?  Everything went better than I possibly could have planned, and better than what I first wanted.  Everything ended up thanks to me.

      So then:  Who was “behind” this whole process that ended up benefitting two families, a bunch of bees, and arguably, our whole country’s food chain?
      And why would I even need to ask?

        20 Now we acknowledge something to God, to the One who can do all things overabundantly beyond what we ask Him, or even what we think of asking Him.  (Since we know He does all things in perfect accord with the power He is already working in our midst.)  21 We acknowledge that to and for Him is the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus, glory extending to all generations forever and ever.  Amen.   (Ephesians 3:20-21 URLV-Expanded)

    The answer is in Ephesians: Of course. I should have got there long before I did;  I should have been immersed in Ephesians months ago.  Ephesians is “my” book; the book that, after I was through absorbing Romans, had the most immediate and profound impact on me as a new Christian, even before I learned how to study it properly.

    And now, having studied it in detail in seminary, having translated and interpreted the whole book more than once, and having preached and taught the whole book several times (with passion, if I remember correctly), why have I forgotten?  Not that I forgot that the book exists, but perhaps I forgot that what the truth here meant to me at one time, and what it should mean to me for all of my time in this world. 

     Forgetting any part of God’s Word that I know is very dangerous, but it is especially dangerous, and somewhat scary, to “forget” a book like Ephesians that was once ingrained into my inner being by both exegesis and by deep faith in its truth. 

     One thing drew me back: looking for this statement from Scripture, this truth, this amazing promise that my Father “can do all things overabundantly beyond what we ask Him, or even what we think of asking Him.” And when I found it in Ephesians 3, I just thought, “of course, how could I forget that?”

    Well, the same Person who “can do all things overabundantly beyond what we ask Him….,” and so on.  My God, Creator and Redeemer of heaven and earth, focused for a few hours on one swarm of bees at one family’s house, while at the same time focusing another family who needed bees, and indeed, He also took care of the bees.  “Beyond what we ask Him or think of asking Him,” indeed!

    But before I close, follow this:  God stole back the bees from my house and put them in their own place, but He also stole back Ephesians from my mind's deep storage and put it back in the center of my love for Him.  Get it?
    So all praise and thanksgiving to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!

      Father in Heaven, thank You for giving me more than I could have thought about asking for. Thank you for getting the bees off our house without any cost to us, and with a benefit to the beekeeper, to the bees, and maybe to the whole food supply.  It seems like a little thing, but nothing is too big or small for You, especially when Your people, Your children, are involved.  And thank You for drawing me back to Ephesians and the truth that lifted me so high when I was first getting to know You.  You are the only true God, and I desire to give you glory in in everything I say and do.  Please help me with that.
      In Jesus Name, Amen.

Later my friends - The Thief.


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