Our home is a home that loves the outdoors but yet when it comes to bees of any kind my youngest daughter is very afraid. Sometimes all it takes in warm weather is seeing a fly and her fight or flight instinct kicks in and she is up running towards the door yelling, “Bee! Bee! Bee!” I have tried so many things to help her to understand that most of the bee’s in our yard are either carpenter bees or bumble bees and really don’t have an interest in hurting her. I have even attempted to pet one, just to calm her nerves.
Don’t worry, No Bees where harmed in the process of these discussions.
No matter what I have done, I realized I couldn’t change her mindset on this. All I could do is empathize and understand her fear, but also encourage her to not let her fear control her and establish healthy boundaries were I didn’t allow her to use her own fear to try to force us to go inside. Sometimes she wanted to go inside but we wanted to enjoy the outdoors. So I gave her the choice to either go play or to sit quietly with me while her sister enjoyed playing. Sometimes this was a battle of tears and anger for not getting her way, but she eventually would calm down and go back to playing.
It’s amazing how much fear can either be used to control or can be used to help us. I recently had my friend, Elizabeth Cooper from Washington State share on Facebook these pictures which just amazed me. It was an image of her, without any protective gear moving an entire swarm of honey bees from a tree into a bee hive. The questions quickly came from her friends wondering how she did that, why she did that, and if she got stung. What was more amazing was that she shared how she actually purposely attracted those bees to her new Bee Hive Box by using Lemon Balm. She shared how she didn’t get stung because the bee’s where so full of honey they couldn’t and because she knew when they were swarming to cover and protect their queen and that they were focused on making a hive and that there was a specific time to move them.
What was even more interesting was I found out whenever she worked with the bees she never wore protective gear and she only got stung one time and that was because a bee decided to hitch a ride on her jeans and she accidentally squished the poor guy when she didn’t realize it was there. Yet the majority of the time she would open the hive and put her hands right in without any gear to get honey and never get stung or harmed.
I highly recommend checking out her Facebook post and reading the comment thread Here. In it she describes the process and why she does it this way. It is very fascinating for all ages.
You may ask why and how in the world she is able to work with her bees without getting stung? I believe the key is somewhere in here but do me a favor and every time you see the word flesh I want you to think about or read fear:
“So then, beloved ones, the flesh has no claims on us at all, and we have no further obligation to live in obedience to it. For when you live controlled by the flesh, you are about to die. But if the life of the Spirit puts to death the corrupt ways of the flesh, we then taste his abundant life. The mature children of God are those who are moved by the impulses of the Holy Spirit. And you did not receive the “spirit of religious duty,” leading you back into the fear of never being good enough. But you have received the “Spirit of full acceptance,” enfolding you into the family of God. And you will never feel orphaned, for as he rises up within us, our spirits join him in saying the words of tender affection, “Beloved Father!” For the Holy Spirit makes God’s fatherhood real to us as he whispers into our innermost being, “You are God’s beloved child!” And since we are his true children, we qualify to share all his treasures, for indeed, we are heirs of God himself. And since we are joined to Christ, we also inherit all that he is and all that he has. We will experience being co-glorified with him provided that we accept his sufferings as our own. I am convinced that any suffering we endure is less than nothing compared to the magnitude of glory that is about to be unveiled within us. The entire universe is standing on tiptoe, yearning to see the unveiling of God’s glorious sons and daughters! For against its will the universe itself has had to endure the empty futility resulting from the consequences of human sin. But now, with eager expectation, all creation longs for freedom from its slavery to decay and to experience with us the wonderful freedom coming to God’s children.” Romans 8:12-21 TPT
You see, our natural reactions to things are not necessarily always bad. Being afraid isn’t always a bad thing, however, when we allow fear itself control what we do that is when lose peace.
What makes by friend Elizabeth Cooper different from me when she is around honey bee’s isn’t that she doesn’t have fears but that she simply isn’t afraid of the bees. She knows them well. She knows herself well. She knows that her only desire is to care for there hive and get honey. When she goes to those hives she isn’t afraid of them but walks in peace and actually creates an atmosphere of peace because she knows she was created to do this and does it with wisdom and confidence. Does she know they can sting? Yes. Does she feel fear of getting stung, no, because she knows that is the last thing they want to do.
We are created to be Mature Sons and Daughters of God. Who are not ruled by or manipulated by the things of this earth but who are created to steward God’s creation. God’s word says that creation is actually longing for us to do this. Because it knows we have the answers needed for its freedom from the corruption of man. When Jesus died, His death and resurrection didn’t just purchase our freedom but it gave us authority to bring freedom and healing not just to people but to creation itself.
Many look at corruption and they think of the bad guy or some evil villain or thing out there that is out to get you. Which often times those things can be true but corruption also comes from us not seeing the full picture of what we are looking at and making bad choices based on lies or half truths. For example, if we look at Bee’s and we think… “Oh those are those evil stinging things”…. Yeah… We just made them look pretty bad, although they do sting, that is only a partial truth and partially a lie (they are not evil). Yet, if we look at them through the eyes of Liz we see an insect God created that provides an abundance of honey as well as helps pollinate so many plants and flowers and really brings a great amount of health to both our environment as well as our bodies through the honey we eat.
Many look at something or even circumstances and they only see a partial truths or even twisted truth because they are only hearing one side of the story or looking at its worst…. and because of that we will easily become afraid of it or even react in fear to it. Yet if we can look at what is happening around us and choose to not respond to what we are afraid of but rather ask God for a bigger or deeper perspective on what we are afraid of, we often times will find we don’t have to live in fear but can instead walk in peace and confidence.
Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes people and things do want to harm us and we need to be willing to face it with confidence and strategy from Holy Spirit vs from our own fear of it.
So instead of being controlled or manipulated by our own fear or manipulating others by our own fear we can walk in peace and make choices from what we are led by our Spirit vs our own flesh.
Most of us over the past several months have faced some times of great fear and turmoil. Those fears are only natural because of what we have faced and are by no means wrong especially in the beginning when there may have been greater risk or if you had family members with a low immune system. At the beginning on several occasions I found myself overwhelmed with fear from listening to news and social media outlets. My responses ranged everywhere from lets hide for the next three months… to are we going to have enough food and supplies to feed my family. All these questions where legit. Yet, I suddenly realized something…. I was allowing myself to fall into a place of complete overwhelm and shut down because of circumstances that were beyond my control. I felt like I needed to try to fix stuff or prepare for the worse and frankly ended up in a heap on my couch with several pretty bad days of anxiety attacks. It was then I realized I needed to turn to the Lord for help and my Heavenly Father pulled me into his arms and reminded me that He would never leave me or forsake me. I also realized I had a choice to be controlled by my circumstances or to make choices based on what he revealed and what I heard and felt a peace about in my Spirit.
What I heard was be not afraid. So I have chosen to live that way. We have continued to enjoy life and do things that work for us as a family. I could have chosen to be overwhelmed by the bad things that were happening but I chose to look at the good things God was doing in the midst of it. What are those things you may ask? I have gotten to homeschool my children for the past several months which has actually be a longtime desire. I have had more time with my husband and kids to just enjoy life without busy schedules getting in the way. I have found as a family we have become much closer. I also have found myself enjoying homesteading, baking, starting a garden, and making choices for us as a family that has been focused around getting goods and supplies from local businesses and farms rather then larger corporations.
I have also seen God use this time of slowing down to help me to find deeper places of intimacy with him and I have seen him revealing how He is bringing us into a different time and season and things are going to look different but many of those charges are going to be good. I have seen my husband have to travel less for work which has in turn saved us so much money. I have seen our focus turn from entertainment and eating out to stewarding what we have and making something beautiful of our home and land. We also have been getting a lot more active riding our bikes and walking.
These things may seem simple but I have found the profound goodness of God in the simplicity of slowing down and focusing on what He is doing and His solutions vs the problems of this world.
Have I been afraid of getting sick or dying during all this? Yes, but something I realized is, I cannot chose to live in fear of sickness and death. I would rather enjoy abundant life and trust the Father to reveal what wisdom and choices I need to make verse allowing any fear of this virus making those choices for me. God is so much better at leading me than fear.
Please check out Elisabeth Cooper’s website. She is an amazing worship leader and creative.