To mark the last blog for the POA team, I thought I’d look back on one of the very first experiences the team had here at PV Sul—we stuck our fingers into beehives. Granted, they were stingless bees, but the feeling, both physical and psychological, of sticking my bare finger into the honeypot of a nest of bees will not be soon forgotten.

During our next team time, not long afterward, we were asked to describe how we were feeling about the trip. We were encouraged to be creative with our answers, replying with colors or types of weather. When it was my turn, I thought for a second and said that I felt like I was sticking my finger in a beehive. For the remainder of my time here, I’ve been consistently reminded of that metaphor.

Let me explain. I’ve had an intense fear of insects for as long as I can remember. I’ve run screaming from beetles, roaches, and cicadas for years. When Edinho—the camp director—opened up the first beehive and asked us to taste the honey, a number of frantic thoughts ran through my mind. The most pressing, however, was somewhere along the lines of–It’s the first week and I’m about to be sent home because I had a heart attack. I’m a bit of a worst case scenario thinker.

Nonetheless I found my hand reaching forward towards the writhing nest. I could hear Edinho’s explanations of the different compartments as an echo in the back of my mind. I watched as he poked a large sack against the wall of the hive, revealing the small amount of liquid honey inside. Then, for a moment that seemed to last a lifetime, my finger was inside a beehive.

Reality came back together as I pulled my finger out of the honeypot and put the dripping honey into my mouth. It was some of the best honey I’ve ever tasted–sweet but not too sweet, with just a little tartness. Next thing I knew I had dunked my hand into four more beehives, all but forgetting my fear, eager to taste the reward.

I think that moment of suspension and confusion, before tasting the honey, is somewhat analogous to that awkward first step in trusting God. Sometimes we’re scared or thinking of the worst. Maybe the next step seems strange and alien. Maybe you’ve even been hurt by something similar in the past. However, God, like Edinho’s promise of honey, has promised us that He has great plans—that he “causes all things to works together for good to those who love God.” (Romans 8:28) Sometimes, after trusting the Lord and experiencing the fruit of that trust, it becomes easier to trust Him again. We feel freer, less weighed down by human expectation, and we are able to taste the sweet honey more and more as we place our judgment more fully into the hands of the Lord.

We pass those hives every day. So, not to make a mountain out of a molehill (or a beehive), but I’d like to believe the Lord showed me and my teammates some truth through His creation.

Lord Almighty, You are a God of surprises. You eagerly wait for us to understand Your next step and laugh with joy every time we experience the rich rewards of our trust in You. I am so honored to be Your servant. Let us learn to become more fully dependent on You. Let us lean into Your plans and pray for guidance. You are our light and our salvation! We praise You forever! Amen.