Monday, November 10, 2014

Should we really be thankful?

Shush! Not too loud! Someone might heard you and think you are CRAZY! (Quietly now!) We should be thankful for adversity. As in metal, heat provides temper. Adversity provides character, and strength. How can we tell someone we know how they feel if we have not been down that valley before? How can we appreciate the nice things God has given us if we have not seen some of the worse things in life? Lynn Anderson way back in the last millennium said she didn't promise a Rose Garden. Well, God didn't either. We need to be receptive to what life has to offer and look for opportunities and  strive to learn from that experience. 

You can walk in a beautiful flower garden and marvel at the beautiful and fragrant blossoms. But did you ever stop and look and think? That flower doesn't come out of thin air. It has a stem or stalk that has roots in a soil that has nutrients. That plant has to have solar energy. The flower is beautiful and smells great, but there is a lot more going on. Bend over and smell how nice that flower is. OH, WATCH OUT! That bee almost got you! Now why would God have an old bee in that flower when you were going to smell it. Maybe you needed to slow down and pay attention. God has bees for a reason, and it is not just for pollination. 

I get used honey pails from work, then we feed the left over honey to the bees. Most of you will be thinking honey bees. But we have honey bees, bumble bees, wasps, mud daubers, hornets, and many others; including that nastiest of all, yellow jackets! We have them light on us and walk on us. Not one has stung us unless we did something wrong, like pinch or squeeze it. It is hard to believe and even harder to explain, but one of our greatest experiences was a bee that landed on my forehead and stayed there for twenty minutes grooming. I walked into the house, back outside, and around. That bee just sat there grooming. I watched it in the window reflection. Fiona marveled at how calm and happy it was. It was a small wonder of God's. It was a quiet pleasure that God gave us. It was just an old bee, but one of God's little wonders. We put honey buckets and lids in the bed of the pickup for the bees. They come in by the hundreds to a couple of thousand. It is like a bee hive. But, there is a lesson to be learned here, also. There might be a dozen variety of bees. They intermingle and walk over each other. They eat side by side. But there is no fighting. Different species will groom the honey off of each other. They get along a lot better than we do. 

My point is that God is present all the time. We just need to look and see. He will speak to us in a small voice. He might even have to hit us over the head with a big stick. But He is there. Seek and ye shall receive. We don't think you should wear your adversity as a badge of honor. It isn't. More than likely, you were naughty and God had to smack your fingers for you. Figuratively. We all have problems. 

With a little prayer and discernment, we might be able to help others. Sometimes, it is nothing more than a hug and a "I know". Sometimes, it is just standing by them or holding their hand. Most of the time, it is the little things that will matter the most. Maybe a meal during a period of grief after all others have moved on. A shoulder may come in handy. Just be there, for whatever and in whatever way. If you have had the adversity, you can help others. Not all bad things are bad for us.




* Note: This is Ralph's first solo post to our blog. He has done very well I think. [I may be a bit biased] I know he always gives me food for thought when I get too hidebound or entrenched in my way of thinking.



  1. Quite a way with words, your Ralph... :) And how fascinating to have a bee so comfortable in such close contact! Ralph = Bee Whisperer???

  2. or write a beautiful post that comforts and informs
    thanks Ralph