Some time ago, I had a bee find its way into my bedroom. I don’t relish killing bugs, and less so bees, but this one was in my bedroom! What to do?
I ran through my options as I watched the angry little critter buzz to the top of the window screen, find no opening, and buzz back to the bottom. Again and again.
At last I figured out a way to avoid killing him. From the cupboard, I pulled down a goblet, then retrieved an envelop that fit nicely over top. I held the glass stem and approached the bee still bouncing against the screen in a futile attempt to zip outside.
In one quick move, I plopped the goblet over the wayward wanderer. As he flew into the bowl looking for escape, I slid the envelop between the screen and the lip of the glass. Got him!
Earlier he seemed mad. Now he buzzed with vicious frenzy.
Poor little guy, I thought. Wasting all that energy, so mad he’d sting me if I gave him the tiniest opening. Yet my only intention was to help him get exactly what he needed, the very thing he’d been looking for.
And then it hit me. So often I act just like that bee. I find myself in a mess of my own making and try furiously to free myself, often repeating the same futile steps over and over. Then, when things seem to get worse, not better, I rail against God, not realizing that He’s using the very circumstances I hate for my good.
How much simpler if I obeyed God and refrained from grumbling and disputing, if I trusted Him instead of blaming Him, if I turned to Him in dependence instead of away from Him in stubborn willfulness. After all, my buzzing about is no more profitable than was that little bee’s.
God, on the other hand, sees the big picture, knows what’s best, and has much more regard for me—love, actually—than I had for the miscreant I set loose from my bedroom.
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing,” Philippians 2:14 says. Now there’s a novel idea. ;-)
What does me in, though, is what Paul says next:
so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world (v 15; emphasis mine).
By this one thing, refraining from grumbling or disputing, we will accomplish what Christ called us to do—serve as lights in the world, even the crooked and perverse world.
I’m thinking the first grumbling or disputing I need to eliminate is any directed at God. We’re so quick in our culture to say that it’s OK for us to rail against God. He understands. He forgives. He’s big enough to handle it. He knows what I’m thinking anyway, I might as well say it. We’re just being honest.
Actually, no. While God does understand and forgive, while He’s certainly “big enough” to handle my puny complaints, while He already knows my heart, it’s still not right for me to accuse righteous God of doing what is not good. And where in Scripture to we learn that God values our honesty more than our trust?
What I should do when thoughts of disgruntlement come into my mind, is confess them and seek God’s forgiveness.
Who am I to accuse God of wrong doing, or of falling down on the job, or of not keeping His promises? I’m really no different than an irate bee buzzing madly to get what I want, ignoring the hand stretched out toward me.
I don’t want to be that bee any more.
This post sans some small additions and revision first appeared here in August 2011.