Lessons From Bees in God’s Garden

This spring I learned more about bees than I’d ever known before. As a gardener, I am thrilled to see bees in my garden, but I didn’t understand their importance in my daily life until I attended a gardening seminar.

The speaker showed us a photo like this one, explaining how bees help produce the most desirable fruits.

Photo and text were taken from this link.

Self-pollinated fruits are small and incomplete. Bee-pollinated fruits are full and luscious. I never understood why some of my raspberries look so misshapen until I realized my need to attract more bees to my garden.

I learned that bees come in hundreds of different shapes and sizes. God created bees in different ways, because they can work the flowers from different angles and gather more pollen. The more pollen gathered, the more fruits are borne. A typical apple tree depends on dozens of bee species to be fully pollinated and bear the best crop.

As I left the gardening seminar, I remembered this passage from Romans:

So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.

Romans 7:4 NIV, emphasis added

When I considered the bees’ work, I thought about how God uses all different kinds of people in his church to bear greater fruit. We belong to Christ, and he inspires us to work together as a team to bear fruit for his glory.

In this famous Bible passage, Paul teaches how we must value every member of Christ’s body:

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at workJust as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ…Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 

1 Corinthians 12: 4-6, 12, 14, 15-27 NIV, emphasis added

When I skip church, I feel off-kilter because my fruit is not pollinated fully by God’s Word and Christian fellowship. Seeing the wonky raspberries helps me remember how important faithfulness is for my faith life, and how I need others to help me grow in faith and produce greater fruit for God.

So many people today are disconnected from the church. They believe, but they are going at it alone. Even though they don’t realize it, their fruit is limited in size and shape. Let’s invite them back into the body of Christ so they can bear greater fruit for God.

I also want to value others’ contributions to the church, even if they are different from my own. Taking this spiritual gifts test helped me identify my strengths and weaknesses. I compared it with other Christian friends and learned how much we need each other! I encourage you to take this test and identify your gifts, then share it with others so they will learn their role in the body of Christ.

Bees are valuable for their honey production and produce pollination. Bees also have much to teach us about our own fruitfulness in God’s kingdom.

Questions for reflection:

What have you learned about bees today that you didn’t know before?

Do you know your spiritual gifts? How do you use them to build up the body of Christ?

Join me again tomorrow as my blog series “Meeting God in the Garden” continues. In the meantime, check out a few of the other posts in this series:

Go on a wildflower walk with Leslie Newman

Enjoy an excerpt on “A Time to Plant”

Read my interview with Christie Purifoy

My book The Fruitful Life is a study on the fruits of the spirit, and my book Newness of Life is about trusting in God’s perfect timing.  Both books are available now on Amazon.

Free resources for these books await you if you sign up for my email list below.  Sign up here to gain access to these free resources, plus lots of other exclusive content!

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17 thoughts on “Lessons From Bees in God’s Garden

  1. Dear Sarah,
    I am blessed that we are neighbors over at #TeaAndWordTuesday today! 🙂 Thank you for these thoughts about God’s amazing working through those little pollinators. I have never seen such a vivid illustration of the difference between self pollinated fruits and insect pollinated. What a great illustration of the way that our Lord brings about the full fruits through His people. Blessings to you!

  2. I just love bees, and I miss ours – – we had a couple of hives a few years ago. They are a lot of work to maintain, but they add so much beauty and depth to a garden’s life. Your words about bees are beautiful, pointing to all that God wants to do in the life of His Body, the church.

    1. I have a writing friend who is a beekeeper. He puts a lot of time and energy into maintaining his hives. He’s also a pastor, who intentionally works to build his community. Your comment made me realize I need to share this post with him!

  3. Sarah, I love how I had a question on my blog and you had the answer right here. Guess where I’m heading now? To that spiritual gifts self assessment you shared, of course. 🙂
    Thanks, friend. I love how God works and puts all the pieces of the puzzle together perfectly.
    Blessings! Marva | SunSparkleShine

    1. Hi Marva, I’m always surprised how many bloggers are sharing the same thoughts each week as me. That’s how the Holy Spirit works, and I’m amazed! I hope you got a lot out of that test…I sure did. Blessings to you!

  4. I too feel off kilter about not attending church regularly. We have been in a lull lately. Thanks for sharing on the #LMMLinkup this week. I loved the analogy of the bee tending flowers as part of growing a Godly garden.

    1. Thank you so much, Mary! I’m glad to have found your blog, and I plan to linkup weekly now! Blessings to you!

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