My daughter’s blood-chilling wail rang down the hall. I tossed aside my makeup brush and poked my head out the bathroom doorframe when I saw her round the corner, tears streaking her hot cheeks.
“Mommy, I got stung by a bee!” She teetered on one leg, her mouth contorting in pain. “On my foot! It hurts bad!”
“What?! A bee?! In the house? Let me see, sweetheart.” I cupped her foot in my hands and searched the swollen site. “It looks like the stinger is out, baby. Mom will make it better, don’t you worry. Did you see the bee?” We hobbled to the kitchen where I grabbed a bag of frozen peas and some Tylenol.
“It was on the carpet, Momma.” She sniffled, calming now under my tender, watchful care. “I just sat down to watch TV before breakfast, and then I felt the sting. I looked at my foot, and the bee was crawling on it.”
Dangitall. In the middle of winter—who worries about bees? The little suckers must’ve been nesting dormant somewhere near our crawlspace, and one squeezed his way into the house. It’s not exactly what a six-year-old expects to find when she wakes up for school on a February morning in Wisconsin. So, naturally, Mom wanted to cry, too. I felt her hurt. I should have protected her, prevented her pain somehow. But the bee came out of nowhere. How was I to know?
That’s just how life goes, though, isn’t it? Everything is moving along smoothly, ordinary, according to habit, then a fastball clocks us out of left field, and we’re stunned. Our security crumbles. What used to be predictable is now uncertain and scary. Nobody wants to sit in the proverbial living room anymore, for crying out loud, because what if there are more bees?
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand,” (Isaiah 41:10).
Last week alone, my sister lost her father-in-law to a sudden heart attack. A friend’s healthy son suffered a seizure out of nowhere. Countless families in our community dropped one by one to stomach flu. It happens everywhere, to anyone, week by week, hour by hour. Life changes in a flash, in big ways and small ways, and we’re left scrambling for balance, perspective, and answers.
We may never find them. But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
Because while we mere humans put one foot in front of the other, walking linear through our days, God sees it all in full context—past, present, and future.
Nothing surprises him.
The real question is—can we trust him?
Does a good, ever-faithful, all-knowing, fiercely loving God really have our best interests at heart, even when the bees sting out of season and nothing makes sense?
He says he does.
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart,’” (Jeremiah 29:11–13).
When pain and heartache surprise me, I find comfort in knowing God not only saw it coming, but he allowed it—which means it must fit into his big-picture plan. And somehow, even in the darkest circumstances when any glimpse of light seems miles and miles away, God’s plan is still good.
We really can trust him.
Think about it. Would you rather trust yourself? You—me—with our finite brains and nearsighted vision. Us, the women who burn toast and lose car keys and forget to call Grandma on her birthday.
I like that lady a lot. But I can’t always rely on her genius.
So I choose to lean on God. He knows more. He loves more. He is perfect where I am not.
Will you choose to trust him, too?
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