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“Sweetness and strength” – Barbara Chantry

Recently, my husband and I rescued two bumblebees. That rescue inspired this devotional. One of the bees was drowning in some water while the other could no longer fly due to it getting cold.

Our first step was to give the bees something sweet to eat to help them build their strength. Then we brought them inside and put them in a box to keep them warm. We put a lid on the box to ensure that the bees would not exhaust themselves by flying around the room as they recovered.

Just as those bees needed help, we also need God’s help when life has taken its toll on us. Life can drain us, serving and caring for those in prison can be tiring. Sometimes, we may feel like we are drowning in difficult circumstances, discouragements or disappointments. At other times, our hearts can grow cold and weary, burdened with worries and cares.

We are all still recovering from the impact of Covid, the restrictions and the lockdowns. However, just like those bees, we were created to fly!

We left the bees in the box overnight near a radiator for the warmth they needed. This reminded me of how we need to spend time in the warmth of God’s love, letting it heal and renew us.

Feeding them with sweet honey reminded me of the need to spend time drinking in the truth in His Word. As they renewed their strength the bees started to fly again! Not both at once, but each as they were able.

Recent events may have made you feel like God has put a lid over you and you have been unable to do what you usually do. Many of us felt held back by Covid, some of us are still unable to return to serve in prison. Maybe, like me, during lockdown or post-lockdown, you found yourself worn out and weary from life.

My interaction with the two bumblebees can help show us what we can do when life gets too much. We can spend time in the warmth of His presence to regain our strength, letting Him renew us in His great love. Making time to be in His Word, drinking in its sweet, reassuring truth; that although circumstances shift and change, He never grows tired or weary but remains faithful, strong, and dependable.

Then, when the time is right for each of us, we can return to the air! For some of us, that might be our prison work or simply returning to everyday life in the grace and strength He provides.

Barbara Chantry is a member of PF Styal, a Sycamore Tree Tutor and a Letter Link volunteer.

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