Two days ago I went outside to care for the garden we have been asked to look over while house sitting. I enjoyed my time cutting lavender, watering the plants and sneaking a few bites from the strawberry and raspberry bushes. After a long hard week of stress and work, this was heaven. Suddenly my foot was on fire. I looked down at a large bee stinging me right on the side of my left foot. I immediately swooshed it away and ran inside screaming "I've been stung!" -hoping someone would respond to me with the amount of reaction and care that you would give a gun shot victim. Sadly, the boys at my house continued to play their video games, focuses on the "real gun shots". Though my sweet husband did come over and help me get the stinger out and cared for my over reacting tears. Thanks babe.
As I sat there watching my foot swell up I found myself becoming very angry, and filled with thoughts of self pity. "Of course this would happen to me!" "Bad things always happen to me!" I was so angry and upset I even ended up "stinging" a friend with a rather rude response to their story they told me just to cheer me up!
After 20 mins of ice and cream , not ice-cream, I was convinced that this bee sting would surly not last long, that it would only be a temporary pain. HA! We had plans to go to a museum a few hours later and I really didn't want to miss out. I got dressed, in a huff and a puff, put my shoes on and started walking. I continued to walk in pain towards the car. My friend asked me why I wasn't staying back to let it heal, and I said "I'm so incredibly tired of bad things happening right now, screw it, I'm just going to move forward and take the pain!"
Hours later after we had walked through a 2 hours museum I started to feel a lot of pain in my foot and ankle. I looked down at my foot, which was big, red and swollen, and realized that something was wrong. Because I continued to walk on it, I walked in a funny position and ended up hurting my ankle as well… and turns out later I found out from my momma that I have a mild allergy to bees, go figure.
That night, even after loads of medicine, ointments, a nurse looking at it and ice I was unable to walk. Uli and to be my crutch all the way home and practically carry me to my bed (not as romantic as it sounds folks.) Somehow a tiny bee sting ended up in a serious injury.
When I finally laid down I began to pray and my first question that I asked God was "why do you continue to allow bad things to happen to me?" To be quite honest we've had a pretty tough couple weeks here. Pioneering isn't as glamorous as one might think and we've continuously been getting things swung at us left and right on top of it all. When I asked God this question I was expecting either, silence-to confirm my thoughts that God didn't care about me, or had forgotten about me. Or possibly a humbled apology from God along the lines of "you are right, I'm so sorry, I'll stop that not!" Instead, I got this:
"When did I ever tell you things were going to be easy? When did I ever tell you, you weren't going to get stung here in there in life?"
God began to show me that my life right now is a bit like this bee sting situation. I set out to have grand adventures and seek good and sweet things in a new land and garden. Ready to sow and plant and harvest new and beautiful things. But then I got stung. Things didn't go as I planned and things got hard… real fast. Instead of bringing these stings, pains and burdens to God I carried them alone and continued to move forward, even though I was hurt. I allowed lies to dictate my emotions, believing that bad things were not ever suppose to happen if we fallowed God, therefore I must not be following correctly, or He must be punishing me. I played the victim. Set out on my own to fix things, or just brush right over them like they didn't effect me, and in turn, I hurt myself even more.
I started to feel quite humiliated, and was honestly ashamed of my attitude I had had the past weeks. But then the Lord responded like this. He showed me that when we get stung in life and continue to move forward and away from Him without dealing with it, He some times allows drastic measures to happen, like "not being able to walk" in order for us to absolutely be forced to depend on Him like a crutch. Like Uli had to be for me: my second pair of legs. Sometimes he allows us to hit rock bottom in order for us to completely dependent upon Him and properly deal with our issues. It's not a punishment, is a rescue call. God never promises to not let bad things happen to us. We live in a crazy world folks. He just promises to never forsake us and leave us to deal with the stings alone.
I shared this little story in our morning prayer yesterday and the response was real cool. People started referring to the things they were dealing with as their "stings". They owned up to places the'd reject God and prayed to let Him back in. They allowed God to show them where He'd been in all these stings and that far away was not one of them! I actually made everyone get up and walk around with a partner as if they couldn't walk without them. I got some pretty awesome sighs and eye roles, but a few seconds later everyone was giggling, so that's good… hmmm maybe I should have been a kindergarten teacher?
Point of my little story here, and hopefully the silver lining for my awesome injury is this: Bee Sting Don't Sting!
When you get stung in life, deal with it. Take it to the Lord. Show Him where it hurts. Show Him where you are angry or let down, even if it's with Him. He can handle it. What He can't handle is you running away from HIm. Don't respond like a victim who allows their stings to draw them farther away from God. You are not a victim to God, you are a child. Unresolved stings reap hard, cold hearts that inevitably start to respond to things in life by stinging back: yourself, God and others. Allow yourself to be stung, and deal with it, so you don't Sting! ….. Because folks, no one wants to miss out on a lovely German weekend because their foot is swollen up like a bumblebee!