What’s to fear in one small bee? Not much, but put fifty or sixty of them coming at you relentlessly and then you know the meaning of “Apiphobia.” That’s exactly what happened to me a few months back! Conducting the funeral of a dear friend’s father-in law; the last thought on anyone’s mind was the furious attack of a few hundred bees! What triggered the attack is still hazy but the results were painfully clear. Many were stung and there was utter chaos all around: people fleeing helter-skelter to avoid being stung. I was not so fortunate; the bees closed in and soon my head, face and hands were covered with stings. Rushing to hospital like many others who were stung; I started becoming dizzy on the way and reached just in the nick of time. I had to spend four more days there. Reflecting on the bizarre incident three realities struck me.
Life will always surprise you. You never know what life throws at you in any given second. And you can never, fully, be prepared for these surprises. It may be a simple slip and fall or it could be something more serious – one of the people who were stung had a mild heart attack! While you can never be prepared for the surprises that life throws our way, we can be prepared to be surprised.
You will always be surprised by people. When the bees were stinging us we all just thought of one thing: To somehow escape the bees! No one knew what to do, or even if they knew they had become so disoriented with panic that they just ran. Almost no one came to help except one young guy, who drove his van right into the cemetery to save many of those being stung. When faced with a crisis most people thought of themselves and not their loved ones, or the old, or the weak! Helping others in times of crisis and danger does not come naturally to most of us; that is a trait we must strive to learn and practice.
God is never surprised. In all the painful and unexpected things that happen to us we can take comfort in the fact that nothing ever surprises God. He knows when something (pleasant or unpleasant) is going to happen to us. And yet, most times, we have to go through the experience. God knows more than just the occurrence, He knows how it will affect us and in His wisdom allows us to pass through many dark valleys (and bee stings) that we might grow closer to Him, grow in our faith and dependence on Him and also be a source of encouragement and comfort to those who go through similar experiences. So, trust in the God who is never surprised and every surprise that we encounter will be a step that we take to becoming the person God wants us to be. Sometimes sweet and sometimes stinging, each lesson will draw us closer to the God who is never surprised.
By Jaichand Sudharsan