…sting like a bee.
For those of you who aren't sports fans, this is a quote from heavyweight boxer, Muhammad Ali.
However, it's rather an apt sentiment for this post.
Let me start at the beginning – (kinda logical, huh?!)
Last week, I decided to go outside to do my daily Bible reading/devotional time. It was just so beautiful, sunny and warm – an appropriate setting to meditate on the Lord.
Shortly after I arrived, I saw the most wonderful sight – a butterfly.
Now some of you know that I have attached a sort of spiritual meaning to butterflies. Every time I see them, I think of them as a sign of the Lord's presence. A way for Him to say to me, "I'm here!"
And these appearances always seem to happen in the most *coincidental* ways. (You can read about that here).
"Hello, Lord," I thought to myself. "Good to have You here."
I felt a peace.
God was here, with me…
Of course, less than 10 minutes later, my bliss was disturbed.
You see, I was thoughtfully joined by a rather annoying pest – (no, not "The Hub") – it was a yellow jacket.
He kept buzzing around, dive-bombing my head. I swatted him away with my journal, and he landed on the ground beside me. I could tell that he was stunned, and I contemplated stomping him and killing him and eliminating his aggravating buzz-business.
But, I hate killing things – so I demurred.
I went inside for a few minutes, and when I returned I was no longer joined by my nectar-nibbling varmint.
Yay, I thought – he's gone.
A few minutes later, it started to get cooler, and so I decided to put my flannel shirt back on.
All of a sudden…
Do you know that that (stupid) yellow jacket was hiding (lurking) in my sleeve and had the (unabashed) audacity to sting me???
Ice packs, ibuprofen, pain, and then incessant itching followed. Yes, itching. Though I am not anaphylactically allergic (is that a word? It is now…) – I am evidently fairly allergic to the venom. I have not itched that much since I had chicken pox.
Later that evening, as I pondered – 'cuz you know I’m gonna ponder – I was reminded of a good lesson.
Yes, the Lord is with me all the time. My dear little butterfly reminded me of that wonderfully comforting Truth.
But, Mr. Yellow Jacket reminded me of another truth – that someone else is always with me too.
That old enemy is always looking to bring me down. And sometimes he isn't a devouring lion – sometimes he doesn't roar like that. Sometimes he's just looking to sting – he knows that buzzing can be quite effective too.
Sure, he delights in the *big* Christian attack and the ensuing meltdown. But sometimes he's also happy just to ruin a peaceful moment.
Two truths for us, fellow believers.
God is with us, and the enemy hunts us.
And let's make sure that while we're looking for the lion, we don't miss the yellow jacket.
(Note to self: Given the chance to stomp and eliminate a threat – take it!)
Have you gotten "stung" lately?
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