Some years ago, I wrote a Daily Bread article comparing the ecological crisis known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), which in many places is causing the honey worker bees to disappear, to our hardworking church members whose absence makes all the difference in what gets done or does not get done in a congregation. I wrote:
“Think about how many in the church are like the honey bee. They work almost undetectably, behind the scenes and unheralded. Without them, however, much work would go undone. Occasionally, these workers may get discouraged by opposition, unappreciation, and criticism. In some instances, they may be prone to give up and ‘disappear.’ Yet, think about what happens to the life and work of a congregation that loses or lacks these quiet workers. Bulletin boards aren’t decorated. Kitchens aren’t cleaned. Tract racks aren’t stocked. Shut-ins and the sick aren’t contacted. Cards aren’t sent. People aren’t encouraged and new Christians and new members aren’t exhorted. Visits aren’t made. Individually, these workers may not be able to do much, but collectively their impact is huge!”
I ended by writing to those who are those hardworking, behind-the-scenes members, “We notice you, and we need you.”
I found it interesting that buried in today’s Denver Post is the probable cause of Colony Collapse Disorder. Scientists in northern California think “a parasitic fly hijacks the bees’ bodies and causes them to abandon hives” (1/5/12, 11A). The fly has been a known parasite in bumblebees (ibid.), but may now be the culprit decimating honey bee hives in the United States and overseas.
If that is true, what an illustration of a warning God gives His workers in Hebrews 12. “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…” (1-2a). Be it discouragement, lack of endurance, personal sin, or some other “parasite” of faith and faithfulness, we must keep them away and fix our eyes on Jesus. No matter what tempts us to veer off course or how difficult the challenge is to stay at the work, that is exactly what God wants us to do and what we must do!