I’ve had it with insects this week. Tired of bugs. A few days ago the family was outside playing frisbee. My oldest daughter and I were sitting in the grass. She is Autistic with very limited language, so she never made a sound, but I noticed she flinched. I looked over at her and there were ants crawling up her shirt. Tons. Anyone driving by would have seen me stripping her clothes off in the back yard and appearing to try to drown her with the water hose. She got about 30 bites. Most on her right hand and arm. scary.
I was so thankful for no allergic reaction and terribly grateful for Benadryl. Whew…crisis avoided. Until yesterday. Yesterday my youngest 2 were at the park. A family friend picked them up to take them on a picnic at the park. They were ecstatic. For a 3 and 5 year old, the park is like Heaven. Playground, picnic, mini-golf, a creek to skip rocks. Awesomeness. My 5 year old declares, “this is my best day ever!” And hardly 5 minutes pass before she steps on a Yellow Jacket’s nest and is stung 16 times. Very scary.
Again, I’m so thankful for no allergic reaction and especially grateful for Benadryl and Ibuprofen. But neither of those medicines will fix her fear. She says she never wants to go outside ever again. Ever!
I hope neither daughter has to relive the sting of bees or ants, but I have no doubt they will eventually relive the sting of life. We know it well, don’t we? We are happy. At peace. With people we love. Having the “best” time. And then suddenly, out of nowhere, the stings come. The diagnosis is revealed. The marriage is over. The money is gone. The criticism comes. The job is lost. The child has broken your heart. Out of nowhere. You didn’t even see it coming. And now you are scared, hurting and you never want to go outside your built up walls ever again.
My baby girl keeps asking, “why did they sting me?” And the truth is, I don’t know. I really don’t know why the sting of life comes either. It’s the age old question. Why? Job asked it. And every sufferer since. Maybe it’s an attack of Satan. Maybe it’s a test of faith. Maybe it’s the result of someone else’s sin or bad choices. Maybe it’s a God ordained refining. Maybe it’s just the result of living in a fallen world. I don’t know why. I’m always tempted to ask why? I have asked why before. I remember clearly when Autism came to live with us. Why, is the first question I asked. But I’m not sure that’s the most important question.
The better question is “what now?” Regardless of why it happened, it won’t change that it happened. So maybe we need to spend more energy trying to move forward instead of looking into the past. What will I do with this sting? How will I react? Will this cause me to walk in fear from here on out? Will I be bitter and resentful? Will this sting color the rest of my days and all my actions from here on?
But maybe the best question is “what will God do with this sting?” And there’s one question I know the answer to. The answer is this: HE WILL REDEEM IT! God is in the redemption business. It’s His ultimate plan for us. He intends to be glorified and He intends to be glorified in us. So He will be the doctor when it comes to the healing of the stings of life. It is His timing that we must follow.
The remedy is before us. Will we follow the orders? Wash the wounds in the truth of the word. Apply liberally the salve of His grace. Bandage our hearts in strips of His mercy. And wait for the healing. It will come. The pain will subside. The scars might remain but they are reminders of the healing and the One who heals us. Survivors always have the best stories to tell.
Listen friends – people will sometimes misquote the Scriptures and say to you that God will not give you more struggle or trial than you can bear. The truth is, we often have far more than we can bear. If we could bear it on our own then why would we need God? But the greater truth is that God’s grace is enough for us (2 Corinthians 12:9). He will bear the burden for us.
When my little girl got stung by all the yellow jackets, it was more than she could bear. So she turned to us. Mommy and Daddy. And we helped her bear it. Calmed her fears. Doctored her wounds. Today when she was afraid to go outside again I carried her. Watched over her while she slept. Comforted her. Let her cry. Held her. Promised her a better day.
Let God bear the stings with you. Why the stings come I couldn’t say. But I know who to turn to when they do. Daddy God. Turn to Him friends. Let Him doctor your stings. Wash yourself in the truth of the scriptures below.
Blessings to you and yours!
Psalm 147:3 – He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Isaiah 53:5 – But he was pierced for our transgressions, e was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
Romans 8:26-37 – the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.