And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
(Colossians 3:23, KJV)
I sipped my coffee and savored the solitude of my backyard. I sat listening as the early birds chirped and warbled. Their chorus signaling the dawn of a new day. God’s mercies renewed. I rested in my lawn chair, flanked by privets that needed pruning three seasons ago, soaking in creation’s song of praise. Humbled by all the surrounding glory, I whispered a heartfelt prayer.
My offering of thanks was fresh on my lips, when I heard buzzing coming from the bushes. I then spotted several bees and sensed God sharing a truth through these little insects. Like Edward Taylor, that Puritan poet, I looked for the deeper meaning in these winged object lessons. The bees’ feverish labor caused the tiny white blossoms to plummet like staccato raindrops. I considered how they never grow weary of their God-given vocation of pollination. Scientists say one of three bites of food comes from the honeybees’ pollinating prowess. In short, without these insects, the vine would bring no fruit and our grocery store shelves would be barren. But who takes notice of them? Hardly anyone. But bees, like the ones in my backyard, bring glory to God by their small actions done in obscurity.
Be like the bee.
These words surfaced in my mind as I watched them buzz along. Immediately, I understood God was speaking concerning the Christian life. As Christians, we can learn a lesson from them. They never stop their work to consider its significance. They simply float from flower to flower in faithful submission to God’s commandment. Bees are content with the process of pollination. It’s what they do. They work heartily as to the Lord. If we are not careful, we can view our everyday tasks as trivial obstacles to be overcome, instead of moments to be embraced.
Like the bees pollinating the world, instead of flower by flower, we can work task by task, job by job, for the love of the Lord and glorify God with our labor. More than likely, we will not understand the full impact we have on others with our work. How could we measure the reach of our efforts on this side of eternity? We cannot. It’s not for us to know. We must trust God to sew our small offerings into His overall tapestry of glory. When we consider our labor, let us take a lesson from the honeybees.
And be like the bee, happy, content, and faithful to the work, even when no one notices. God notices. Who else can know the fruits of our labor?