Charlie and Sarah have been stretched a lot lately, and at times they have felt quite discouraged. They continue to find people who seem interested in following Jesus, only for them to lose interest or push away for various reasons. Language is a constant challenge. And recently, three disciple-makers they have invested in for 18 months decided to head in a different direction.
“As we took our discouragement to the Father,” Sarah shared, “God reminded us of a seemingly unrelated experience a few
years ago …. with bees.
“Several years ago, while stateside, we discovered a colony of bees living inside a wall in our house. After relocating the hive to our backyard in a newly purchased beehive box, Charlie began learning the art of beekeeping while watching the bees grow in numbers. Unfortunately, the colony was lost when the queen bee mated with an Africanized drone, a “killer bee.” The resulting colony was extremely violent; it even tried to kill Charlie when he accidentally bumped the hive while mowing. We thought of buying a new queen and some worker bees to restart a colony, but we sensed God saying to just put the now-empty beehive box into the garage and wait. Maybe our beekeeping days were over.
“Then, lo and behold, a neighbor found a large clump of bees in a tree and called us. Charlie immediately knew this was a swarm protecting a queen looking for a new home. So, we relocated the swarm to our beehive box, and the colony started growing and multiplying. It is still going strong to this day, making honey that, God willing, will be enjoyed for years to come.
“You see, God provided the first bees. He took them away. And, then he provided us with the second set of bees which continues to multiply to this day. All Charlie did was scoop them off the tree branch while giving them a healthy environment in which to live!
“Job 1:21 says: The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised. God has reminded us that any fruit in ministry is His fruit. We are only called to be obedient disciples. The fruit is not a burden we are asked to bear.
“Jesus told his disciples: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Mat 11:28-30)”
When we face discouragement, let’s go to our knees to ask how God wants to mold us to be better servants and witnesses for Him.
We Walked As He Parted the Waters
Getting to the Harvest is Doable
I Told Him I was Quitting
Trading Tradition for Multiplication