Our days and nights have whirled past in a small cyclone of activity– the end of school, a weeklong visit from my sister, girls’ camp, Lake Powell and a river trip with the youth of my church. I’ve hardly seen a washing machine or a flush toilet in weeks.
In the midst of the work and stress and fun, we may have neglected our bees just a bit. July is the season to add honey supers– a box on top of the hive to collect the honey we plan to steal in September. Bees are ambitious foragers, in addition to producing enough liquid gold for their colony of 60,000, they provide an excess of up to one hundred pounds of honey a season.
When we opened the hive to remove the sugar water feeder (they only need it in early spring) we found that our enterprising colony had already built masses of extra comb filled with sweet oozing not-quite-honey. Shrieking with joy, we pulled off chunks of honeycomb and enjoyed an early taste of our future harvest.
Raising bees requires a certain amount of faith– will they really produce? is our water source adequate? are they protected? will our neighbors hate us? are we crazy people?– and to glimpse the fruit of our labors (truly the bees’ labors) gave us joy.
For two years I’ve fought desperately each day for happiness: counting my blessings, praying, reading my scriptures, writing, admiring my children. I know I’ve been blessed, but I’ve also been mourning the loss of both my parents. I believe I’ve done a good job of smiling through the heartache, planning activities, recognizing beauty– but it’s been exhausting.
For so long I hoped that the person who hurt me would apologize or make some effort to ease my pain; finally I gave up and turned completely to God. And my Heavenly Father is so much better at healing hearts! For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. Rev. 7:17.
I’m happy again. Rather than laboriously counting my blessings, each Godly gift seems present at every moment– the trees, the sky, every person I meet. The world is luminous and filled with hope.
Beekeeping Magazine quoted a beekeeper with one hundred hives, “From the honey we are getting every day, you would think our bees were gathering up all the nectar in the world, when really it is not a drop in the bucket compared with the amount of nectar there is provided. Nature is surely a lavish housekeeper! She spreads out tons and tons of nectar in her flowers for all creation to enjoy.” Mary, 1917
The love of God rests in every flower, every hymn, every person. How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Psalm 119:103 A harsh winter can make it arduous to find or taste nectar, but summer always comes again.
I’m trying to keep this short, but I’ll add just a bit more. On one of our darkest days my sister sent me this short text: Helaman 3:34-35.
Immediately, I opened my scriptures to read these words:
And they were lifted up in pride, even to the persecution of many of their brethren. Now this was a great evil, which did cause the more humble part of the people to suffer great persecutions, and to wade through much affliction.
Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yeilding their hearts unto God.
Yes, I’ve been wounded, but I know the way to be healed– fast and pray, wax stronger and stronger in humility, firmer and firmer in my faith in Christ. And my promise is God’s nectar: joy and consolation, santification, purification.
Like my honeybees, I have to seek that peace every day (and store some up for the winter), but God is a lavish house keeper and provides more nectar than I could ever drink.
I am basking in God’s peace. I feel like myself again; like God’s child.
p.s. You’re familiar with Adam Young/Owl City? Adam’s blog is even better than his albums. Last fall he recorded a cover of In Christ Alone that I promise is worth your time.