The Plight of the Bumblebee



For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

By now you might be thinking, “Hey, isn’t it ‘flight of the bumblebee?’” While there is in fact a song by that title, today’s thought is about an actual bumblebee.

Yesterday afternoon it felt like it was time to write. Having acknowledged this feeling, my mind went almost immediately blank. I’ve become accustomed to this phenomenon and am often reminded of what Oswald Chambers wrote in My Utmost For His Highest:

Never run before God gives you His direction. If you have the slightest doubt, then He is not guiding. Whenever there is doubt—wait.

One of the great things to do while you’re waiting is to drink coffee! So I toddled over to Chapel Hall where a pot had been mysteriously plugged in earlier. Now if you’ve been in our sanctuary or the old chapel, you know that birds will frequently fly into the windows—sometimes more than once. Many a sermon has been interrupted by such avian maneuvers. Believe it or not, you get used to it after a while. But somewhere between the creamer and the not-sugar-but-some-other-carb-free-unhealthy-chemical phase of this operation, I heard a heavy tapping. Then I heard it again. And again. It was too small to be a bird, so I checked it out. The tapping was from a very determined bumblebee, which was bound and determined to get inside or knock himself unconscious.

 The waiting was over. To the computer, Mr. Chambers! This creature was trying to gain entrance by his own works and I thought of what the Apostle Paul had to say on the subject: It is by faith—not works—that we enter the kingdom of Heaven. Why? So that none can boast. I suppose a bumblebee that was three feet wide and traveling at 200 miles per hour might have been able to crash through the window. If so, what does that say? That he’s better than the smaller ones? That he deserved to get inside just because he was bigger? If admission to the Father’s House worked that way, where would it end? What dollar amount would be enough? (The early church had some thoughts about that.) How many good deeds would it take? Seven? Seventy times seven? You get the idea. And woe to the poor soul who only missed Heaven by ten bucks or by not shoveling her neighbor’s sidewalk that one time.

 James writes that faith without works is dead and that is very true. If you receive a beautiful potted plant from a friend but never water it, what happens? Our faith must compel us to reach out in love—especially to those who are difficult to love. But it is our faith through God’s grace that allows Peter to open the gate for us when our days of flying into windows are over.


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There are 6 comments

Gary Smalley often taught the value of "word pictures" while teaching. You have given an excellent word picture of our getting to heaven based on works.

Rich Bushong
May 14, 2011 - 12:40
Reply to Rich Bushong

Worth a thousand words!

May 24, 2011 - 10:22

Thanks Kent needed that today it reminds me that I can never be perfect, and getting bruised trying is useless.. Just have faith

May 14, 2011 - 01:41
Reply to Charlotte

Very glad, Charlotte. We all try to smash through windows when there's an open door nearby, don't we?

May 24, 2011 - 10:20

Poor little bumblebee,
he looks,
a lot like me.

Thank God for grace!

Here's a little something quasi-related:Flight

May 13, 2011 - 13:41
Reply to Shawn

What's the buzz? Tell me what's a-happenin!

May 24, 2011 - 10:22
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