An individual honey bee cannot live on its own much like a true Christian cannot live without the body of Christ to sustain it. A honey bee colony is referred to as a “super organism.” While each individual honey bee is itself an organism, together as a hive of thousands of bees they become something much more extraordinary! Every bee has a job to do that changes as they get older. They start by staying in the hive doing jobs like undertaker, food storage, cleaning, nurse and taking care of the queen. Then as they grow they take a test flight outside the safety of the hive. Then one day they are ready for foraging for food. Foraging is a dangerous yet necessary part of the super organism’s function. Without this foraging the bees would have no nectar to feed upon and no pollen for protein.
Luke 13:6-9 NIV – Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”
It is essential as a Christian to bear good fruit and to be a good tree that will not be removed from the earth – to be like a good worker bee who helps to feed the hive and sustain the Super organism that is the body of Christ. When bees leave the hive they leave security; they do not have a protector in heaven just the cruel world crouching at the entrance of the hive. Some of the trials bees face when they leave the hive are birds, dragonflies, cars, flying up to two miles away and navigating back to the correct hive. Regardless of what they face bees will move forward even to the point of death against overwhelming odds. As Christians we need to work to put fertilizer around our roots so that we can grow to the point of bearing fruit. Like bees who take test flights Christians need to be willing to do things that are not in their comfort zone.
James 1:12 NIV Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
Sometimes our venture away from the security of Church camps or the fellowship with our brothers and sisters does not go well. Stepping out of our comfort zone can leave us feeling anxious or scared. If the bees retreated and refused to persevere through all the dangers they face the hive would have no choice but to begin eating their honey that is stored up. If there is still no nectar coming in they begin to cannibalize the young pupae who require food. Let’s hope our churches never get to that point! If there is still no nectar coming in and they have gone through their stores they will either abscond or starve. As Christians we cannot simply hangout in our comfortable zone. Eventually it’s time to feel uncomfortable and to face trials. It builds our endurance when we face trials and overcome them, allowing us to move past a test flight and become a forager and bear good fruit.
When bees find a good foraging location they do a dance to point others in the right direction. To spread the good news they wiggle and wag and somehow that translates to a distance and a direction. I cannot communicate to you where the fruit is that you need to forage for the Lord through a dance like honey bees but I can encourage you to step out of your comfort zone. Take a flight away for your warm, safe hive and you will begin to produce more fruit. It could be increasing something you are doing now, doing something you haven’t done before, working on the fundamentals, doing good works, or it could be you try and fail and have to redirect your energy. You have a wonderful Protector in heaven who loves you. It’s time to show him the same love he shows us.