Lessons From An Aunt

It was Solomon who said that we can learn from the ant: Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest (Proverbs 6:6-8).

My Aunt Fern never said much to me about ants, but she did know what she was talking about when it came to beekeeping. Aunt Fern was my great aunt, and I loved her delicious honey and the times we spent together in conversation.

One thing I learned from Aunt Fern is that bees are sowers and reapers. She was quick to point out that bees are not just “takers” they’re also givers. The relationship between the bee and the flower is symbiotic: As bees take nectar from the flower they pollinate it.

To collect a sufficient amount of honey, bees have been know to travel great distances and visit many flowers. Once the nectar is collected, it is shared with other bees in the hive where it is processed and stored.

The honey bee is a good illustration of New Testament Christianity. Paul said we are many members but one body. Each member of the body is to share his gifts and abilities with the other members.

For the health of the hive one of the first tasks a bee has is to provide nourishment via the fluid from its milk glands. The same is true for the church: The members start with the milk of the Word and then move on to the meat.

During one of my last bee-focused discussions with Aunt Fern, I thought of the words of Jesus: For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). The sacrifical service of the honey bee is an excellent illustration of this principle.

Here’s a final thought to keep you thinking: To have a healthy humming hive, each person needs to be busy doing what is required of him–We are to be faithful stewards.

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