“I have good news, but you’re not going to like it.”
My husband spoke these words after running errands early Saturday morning with one objective in mind: to purchase whatever was necessary to squash our ant infestation.
It’s one thing to have a few ants. It’s altogether another for the ant colony to invade your home. We were at the invasion stage, and it was all-out war. I watched the ants go marching one by one and was not singing “hurrah, hurrah.”
His words left me defeated. Wearily, I asked, “What is it?”
He explained there was one catch to the bait he purchased: no killing the ants. They must live in order to take the bait back to their queen. It’s only then that the nest, in turn, will die.
“Do you understand?”
“Do you really understand?”
The following morning I realized I had made a grave mistake: I did not understand. Every ant on this side of the Mississippi seemed to have appeared in my home. But I understood the mission. In order to win this war, I had to go against all intuition.
This is not unlike our call to trust in the Lord, is it?
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…”
(Proverbs 3:5 NIV)
As followers of Christ, we, too, are on a mission, and we understand it. Ours is not a mission of death, as I admit I was on with the ants, but rather a mission of life – eternal life. This mission is summarized by loving the Lord, the Giver of Life, and loving others, that they may long to partake of the Bread of Life.
We have a general idea of what it looks like to love the Lord: we spend time in His Word and prayer. We worship and serve.
But loving others can get a little more complicated, can’t it? Sometimes it looks like speaking; other times, it looks like remaining silent. It might be to bear a burden, or it may be to allow an opportunity for someone to lean on the Lord.
How can we possibly know our marching orders in the mission to love others well, especially when it feels counterintuitive?
We remember the ants, who are esteemed for their wisdom (Proverbs 6:6-8).
As we love the Lord and spend time with Him, He makes us wise. With His Spirit’s guidance, His Word serves as a light to our path. We become more like Him as our minds are renewed, and our actions are characterized by the fruit of the Spirit.
We won’t always get it right; we will always need His grace. But when we remember the war we are in and our mission, we will trust the Lord’s leading more than our intuition.
He knows what we don’t and sees what we can’t. We are free to love as He leads and to lead with love.
The next time you’re unsure of the best way to love others, remember the ants. Lay down your initial intuition and look to Him for wisdom. The mission is His, and so are the marching orders.
And that is worth singing “hurrah” over, Amen?
About the Author:
Whether through teaching Bible studies, speaking to groups in person or online, or writing devotionals and other Christ-centered resources, Cara Blondo is passionate about helping women connect biblical truths to their everyday lives, knowing personally of its transforming power through the healing of a years-long battle with an eating disorder. After experiencing real hope and lasting change, she wanted nothing more than to share God’s Word with others. Having been trained in full-time college ministry, she served as a college missionary, on multiple short-term mission trips spanning three continents, and at her local church in various ministries, including the women’s ministry, where she continues to teach Bible studies with the hope of leading women into a greater understanding of the beauty and impact of God’s Word in their daily lives.
Through her blog, The One Thing Desired, and podcast, Perspective Shifts, she hopes to offer encouragement for everyday life as together, with her readers or listeners, they shift their perspective upward and come to know Him as their one thing desired.
She and her husband have been married for more than twenty years and are blessed to have four children.
Cara would love to connect online at The One Thing Desired (www.theonethingdesired.com), on Instagram (@the_one_thing_desired) or Facebook (@theonethingdesired), and through her podcast, Perspective Shifts (found wherever you listen to podcasts).
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