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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Hum (06/06/13)

TITLE: My God is not like the Queen
By Linda Rogers


It’s warm today, with only a gentle breeze blowing. I approach from the side so as not to walk directly in their flight path. Beekeepers learn to get that important first “hive health assessment” on their approach to the hive. We want to see what the bees are doing. I smile when there are lots of foragers bringing in pollen from the fields. I peek at the entrance and quickly spot two guard bees on duty. Another good sign. Next, I tilt my head slowly near the top box and listen. They are humming as they work. What a joy to hear. We want the bees to be working happily, and that hum is the best evidence we seek. Upon hearing it, I can be reasonably sure that the queen is okay before I even open the top brood box. Oh the queen, she can be either a blessing or a curse, and most beekeepers quickly learn to assess how she’s doing as soon as they arrive at the hive. If something is amiss, your entire hive can be compromised in a matter of weeks unless you fix the situation early.

In contrast, a beekeeper can also detect when a hive is out of sorts because the sound is different. Instead of a content hum, there is more of an erratic, furious sound. And something is wrong in a hive when there is little activity at the entrance or the guard bees begin to dive-bomb the beekeeper. When the queen is dead or injured, or if something else is wrong, the bees are very aggressive toward everything in their world. The workers stop working, some may begin to bite others using their mandibles as weapons against their own sisters. If the queen is at fault and can’t fulfill her egg-laying responsibilities, her helpers will sometimes turn on her. I’ve only witnessed the “balling of the queen” once, and it was awful. Dozens of workers form a large ball of bee bodies around the queen, sometimes as large as a lemon. They fan furiously and press in on her, with the goal of raising her internal core temperature until she literally cooks herself! But if the matter is an external threat, such as when yellow jackets sneak past the entrance guards and enter a hive seeking to kill the queen, the defense is very kamikazi. Many workers will die protecting their queen since each honeybee has only one sting and then it dies. Whereas, the enemy yellow jackets can sting repeatedly. When anything threatens the hive, either externally or internally, the bees react in a high-energy, erratic way and the sound they make is definitely not a happy hum.

As I meditate on contentment, and rely on my risen Lord for everything, I find that I am not unlike the honeybee who knows that all is well with her queen. I work happily. When I remember that God is completely in control of my life, that He is doing His job, it is so much easier for me to feel content and calm and to do mine. Sometimes I literally hum, or even sing aloud in my contentment. But on the flip side, when I begin to doubt my God’s love, power or concern for what is happening to me, I get angry or fearful and easily out of control. I may even attack those that I love with my thoughtless words or angry behaviors. I definitely stop working or doing my job, and I’m quite sure that God hears the unholy sounds that I make at times like those.

Shame on me! My God is infallible and will never forsake me. Unlike the bee queen who really is temporal and can perish or stop working at any time, my God is eternal and invincible. When I am threatened with harm, my God is the creator of the universe and He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. Why do I whine, complain or spew unholy words? Perhaps I should think about the honeybee…humming and contented as the beekeeper approaches. In 1st Timothy 6:6-7 scripture says: “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.” Oh Lord, please help me keep my eyes fixed on the kingdom work which you’ve laid before me. Help me to be at my post humming when you approach to check on me!

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This article has been read 295 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Brenda Rice 06/13/13
Very informative and interesting. Thanks.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/17/13
I really enjoyed this. I don't know much about bees and found this interesting and thought provoking. You grabbed my attention immediately and held it to the end. You covered the topic in a creative way. I really enjoyed the prayer at the end.
Karen Pourbabaee 06/19/13
This was really very interesting and rich in detail; I saw so many parallels for human life too. I pray along with you to keep a happy content hum as I work in His kingdom!
Margaret Kearley 06/20/13
Wow. This is amazing - I have learnt so much about bees and the parable pictures of our relationship with our God are so powerful. Congratulations on your well deserved win.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/20/13
Congratulations on placing 1st in your entry and 11 overall! (The highest rankings can be found on the message boards)
Sharon Eastman06/20/13
This story was very informative. As I am going through a very trying time in my life, it helped reinforce lessons I've learned about our wonderful God. It helped me tremendously.
Bea Edwards 06/22/13
Congratulations on your level win with this spectacularly interesting and relevant devotional. Great job!