Do you ever think that you could have designed this planet a bit better than God did?
Don’t get me wrong. I love the beauty of God’s Creation: the animals, birds, trees, flowers, oceans, mountains, and starry night sky.
But I have just one quibble….
I think God made far too many of them.
Scientists estimate that there are 10 quintillion bugs on Earth, which works out to well over a billion insects per person.
I find this excessive. All most of them do is bite, sting, or frighten people.
In an ideal world of my creation, there would only be a few select insects. Cute ones like ladybugs and beautiful ones like butterflies would make the cut, but I can do without the rest.
Plus, I’d make a lot more flowers. Sound good?
There’s only one problem with the utopia I’ve designed: what would pollinate the flowers?
Insects are responsible for the vast majority of pollination. In my version of this world, I would have eliminated the very things that make possible productivity in flowering plants.
I think we take the same attitude when it comes to things in our lives that we find unpleasant or demanding.
We want nothing to do with the things that “bug” us.
We often shun challenges, despite the fact that they can help us grow. We bemoan hardships, even though they are oftentimes the catalysts that strengthen us.
Fortunately, God knows better than we do.
He judiciously and lovingly allows difficulties in our lives to stretch us and increase our perseverance. He knows that the very struggles we prefer to evade can be the sparks that ignite our creativity and spur our productivity. They can be the means by which we bear much fruit.
After all, an oyster couldn’t produce a pearl without the presence of irritating grit inside its shell.
“When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.” (John 15:8)
Now that I’ve learned this, I view life’s various obstacles and adversities in a different light. While I don’t exactly welcome them, I know that God can use them to bring about something valuable in my character.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4)
“Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:3-4)
And I don’t even mind the bugs in my garden as much now. I view the wasps and bees with gratitude and respect. I know that their help is essential if I want my garden to bear fruit.
Next year, I might even plant a pollinator garden specifically to attract beneficial insects. Not bad for a person who always used to keep a can of Raid bug spray handy!
© 2022 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.