I love honey! It’s great for all kinds of things. Delicious on a waffle or biscuits, great in many recipes as a substitute for processed sugar, and extremely useful as a healing agent…wait…what?! Yes, for many things, including wounds, burns, memory issues, diabetes, and even some cancers, Honey is a real super-food!
My husband had a slight sore throat the other night–most likely from a day full of talking on Zoom meetings. I had him take a spoonful of my Uncle Robert’s honey before bedtime and he’s right as rain the next day. When I had a kitchen mishap, I applied a little bit of honey to help aid in the healing of that, as well. Thankfully, these are small issues. They provide a context, however, for what I’ve been trying to do for myself lately, in part without even knowing why.
As I prayed for several friends this morning, I thought about the significant changes and losses they’ve recently experienced. My heart hurts for them. As I prayed, I talked to God about them and asked him to strengthen and sustain, comfort and heal these hearts that are just so…raw. That word “raw” just kept ricocheting around in my brain as I prayed and as I continued to pray I think I figured out–at least partly–why that word kept on resonating with me.
I think we’re ALL feeling a little raw these days. Every single one of us has experienced a loss of some kind this year. Although the losses aren’t always equal in magnitude, the sheer number of times we’ve lost our way of living, our ways of working, our ways of gathering, our ways of worshiping…these things add up after awhile. Losing people, losing dreams of what our now should be and what our futures were “supposed” to be, and for some us, maybe even who we used to think we were…that’s more difficult, still.
So, what are our options? Some things cannot be changed right now. Others may have actually been better for us. Whatever category you assign your loss to, our first reaction should be to pray.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.Romans 12:12
Sometimes I think this might actually be the “poster verse” for 2020, and I’d love that except that my self-evaluation tells me that though I’ve been “faithful in prayer” this year, I’m certain I’ve done a much poorer job with the first two instructions.
As I prayed for my friends, I also asked God if there was anything I could do to help. You see, “helping” is the first nature of a “fixer” and even those of us who also are faithful in prayer often get confused and begin to think that if we could just DO SOMETHING, well, that would just HAVE to be better, right? Wrong. Oh, I’m not knocking the doing. I’m just reminding us (me, mostly, I’d guess) that Oswald Chambers was right when he wrote, “Prayer does not fit us for the greater works; prayer is the greater work.”
God can always do more with a single thought than we can do in a century of doing. Sometimes, we get to help in physical ways. Other times, we do the “greater work” of giving it to God and asking Him to do the doing that needs doing. I think that may actually be part of our issue with prayer. We want to be in control of the doing, the deciding of it and the completing of it. Is that because it means we’ll get the credit? Perhaps. There may be other reasons as well, but I’ve digressed long enough. (grin)
What in the world does all of this have to do with honey?! Well, it’s partly the way I’ve been trying to get better at those first two commands up there in Romans 12:12. I’ve been looking for joy and trying to be hopeful which helps me have a better shot at being “patient in affliction”. Honestly, patience has never been my strong suit, but I am getting better at it simply because I have no other choice, so I’ve become deliberate in my practice of being patient. I’ve been looking for joy in the beauties of nature and trying to share them with others. I’ve been reaching out via emails, texts, and even the US Post Office by sending a physical message of what I HOPE has been peace and comfort and encouragement that I’ve been praying over some of my people so they could know that even if I can’t be there “to help” them, I AM remembering them before the Father and asking for HIM to show up in ways they see and feel.
His Presence (as I pray and make flower arrangements, send notes, and the occasional extremely long phone call) is honey for the soul…and so is the search for ways to share Him even when we can’t always be there with those whom we love and those for whom we pray.
“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.“Proverbs 16:24
May you know and feel His Presence today–and look for ways to share Him. There’s an awful lot of people who are needing some honey for their soul.
Grace and Peace!
P.S. Just as I finished writing this–it’s taken me all day long!–I received a sweet message from an even sweeter friend who wanted me to know that although she’s not exactly sure of all the reasons why, she is praying for me. (happy dance, happy dance!) Isn’t God FUN?!!!