The grass on the hillside behind our house was long and dry—perfect for hours of fun for the three of us kids. We found the largest cardboard boxes we could and broke them down to make sleds. Up we climbed to the top of the hill and down we flew to the bottom. We’d do it again and again all day long, until mom called us for dinner. But the one time when I was sledding alone, something horrible happened.
I got tired early so I folded my cardboard and headed home. I carefully lifted up a section of barbed wire at the bottom of the hill and started to climb under. My foot crunched down on a small dead branch in the way. All of a sudden I was swarmed and being stung by yellow jackets. They were all over me—my face, my arms, my head, even stinging me through my socks—and they just kept attacking. Yellow jackets aren’t like regular bees that die once they sting you. Yellow jackets can just keep on stinging over and over. I must have disturbed their nest and they were mad. I managed to get myself out from under the barbed wire and ran to the middle of the street.
They followed me and surrounded me and kept stinging me. I could do nothing to stop them. I panicked and froze there right in the middle of the street and started screaming at the top of my lungs.
My mom came running out of the house and saw immediately what was going on. She ran out to the middle of the street where I was paralyzed in panic. Grabbing me in her arms, she quickly got me off the street and into our driveway. She turned the water on and hosed me down. I was sopping wet when she took me into the house, sat me down at the kitchen table and slathered me from head to toe in calamine lotion, finally easing the pain of probably over a hundred yellow jacket stings.
This memory reminds me of the Bible story about the man from the Gadarenes. He was being attacked by a legion of devil spirits. Most sources say a legion can be as many as 6000 in number. The man was lashing out, tearing at himself and scaring everyone, that is, except Jesus. The man wasn’t in his right mind but Jesus had compassion on him and rescued the man. Jesus set him free from the attacks and the people “found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind” (Luke 8:34).
My mom was not afraid. When it came to one of her kids, she had no fear, but instantly knew what to do and did it. My mom ran right into the swarm of yellow jackets, to save her daughter. She rescued me from the yellow jackets and calmed the stings.
Jesus was not afraid either. He knew that God wanted him to rescue this man and He did it. Jesus ministered God’s love to the man and delivered him from the stings of torment the devils put on him.
As I look at the people God puts in my path, I want to be more compassionate toward His children, like my mom was for me. I want to react more like Jesus and help those who want deliverance from the stings they experience in this life.
Like it says in 1 Peter 3:8: “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble” (1 Peter 3:8). First Corinthians 13:8 says: “Love never fails.”
To all of you mothers who have rescued us so many times: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!
Summer’s coming up here in the USA. How about a great summertime read? WINGS VOLUME 2 == WINGS: JOURNEY WITH JESUS