On the humble bumble (a devotional)

A new discovery on bumblebee behaviour has got me thinking…

Maddy's bee in her windowbox

I think sometimes that as Christians we grow so familiar with a passage of scripture that it can lose its impact on us. We enjoy hearing a well-known verse in a different translation, as the meaning catches us again, like a joking friend who’ll pounce on us from around a corner.  We need that vibrancy so that the truth settles in as it did the first or second time we heard it.  That’s one of the reasons I love looking at nature for new metaphors on what are heads know, but our hearts need reminding.

     We have all heard Jesus’s words on the sparrows and his Father’s provision for us:

29 What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin[a]? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. 30 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31

     Today in the news I’ve heard something that reminds me of that old truth.  Scientists have discovered that hungry bumblebees can cause a flower to bloom early, even up to 30 days, simply by biting a ‘half-moon’ shaped hole in its leaf.  These scientists have tried to recreate the effect but have so far failed.  It could be down to a special ingredient in bee saliva, but no one is sure.  Speculation is around the idea that this bee behaviour is ‘instinctive’.

     Lars Chittka, behavioral ecologist at the Queen Mary University of London says ‘It’s certainly surprising’ and states ‘it’s hard to imagine how it would have started’ – hmm.  As believers I think we have an answer for that one.  To me, it suggests yet one more incredible example of the Lord’s brilliance and thoughtfulness.

     The Bible speaks often about God’s provision.  He is Jehovah Jireh, our provider, and he knows exactly what we need.  If he can provide so wonderfully for the humble bumblebee, how much more can we trust that he has our future in his hands, and has a plan all worked out?

Source: sciencemag.org ‘Hungry bumble bees make plants flower early by cutting holes in their leaves’ By Erik Stokstad May. 21, 2020 , 2:05 PM


2 thoughts on “On the humble bumble (a devotional)

  1. Fascinating! But the bumble bee has to perform a very specific, illogical (?) task in order to be granted that unusual provision. I wonder what the equivalent would be in our case?


    1. Thank you! For me, as a faith metaphor, I think it’s simply a matter of trusting God as our heavenly Father. I’m thinking on your comparison though, and wonder if our equivalent is simply prayer. The bee expresses its hunger by biting a hole in the leaf, we, meanwhile, take our requests to God!


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