“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
I slapped my arm but didn’t see a thing. About thirty years ago we were visiting in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It was a beautiful area, and it was almost like being in another part of the world. There were rich woodlands, new foods to enjoy and the crystal-clear water of Lake Michigan. It reminded me of some of the places I have visited in Europe. With all its wonders there was one thing that I didn’t like…no-see-ums.
Most of us are familiar with the various biting pests we find flying and crawling around. There is the bomber-size horsefly. You can usually hear them coming…even before you see them coming and their bite is horrendous. Then there is the yellow fly and that pesky one that hovers around when you are sitting on the patio. They seem particularly innocent and that’s when they get you. And the king of biting insects is, of course, the mosquito. Some people wonder why God created the mosquito. I think it is one of the great mysteries of the universe.
While not too common around here, the no-see-um that I encountered in Michigan was a flat-out, no doubt about it, pain in the neck—or else wherever those chose it bite you. They are very small…in fact…smaller than a flea. Because of that you will feel the bite and go to swat at the culprit but see nothing to hit. They are a neutral color and manage to just “blend in.” Their bite is painful and can take hours or even days before a welt shows up on your skin. Well, since I don’t make too many trips to the Upper Peninsula, it wasn’t too big a deal…until I found out they like South Florida.
When my wife Judy and I checked into the place we were staying in Fort Myers one of the first things we did was go and sit on the balcony that overlooked Estero Bay. It was beautiful. From our fourth-floor vantage point, we could see for miles and saw dolphins, manatees, fish, birds and even an alligator. However, it wasn’t what we saw that soon grabbed our attention…it’s what we didn’t. Soon, too soon, we were slapping and scratching but not seeing. We soon realized that no-see-ums love South Florida as much as they loved the Upper Peninsula.
Well, we retreated inside until we could find something that would discourage them from making us lunch. A day later we were eating at a local restaurant and there on the table was “No-See-Um” spray. It was all natural and Judy tried some and thankfully it worked. Not all but most of the misery caused by these almost invisible, blood sucking, stinking, pain-in-the-neck (you can tell I’m a little bitter) insects was finally over. And, for the ones who managed to escape the spray, I learned to spot them and eliminate them. And yes, there was pleasure in revenge.
No-see-um bites are painful and adding to the pain is the fact that you don’t see it coming. I mean a horsefly is big enough to spot and sounds like a small helicopter coming in for a landing. Even a pesky mosquito buzzes if it’s close to your ear. But the no-see-um is a sneaky one at best. And do you know what? Some of the most irritating and painful things in life are too. How many times have you been just having the best day and some circumstance comes along and changes everything? The truth is it happens too often. But there is good news.
While we sometimes can’t change our circumstances and sometimes all the wisdom in the world won’t change an outcome, there is hope. And that hope is found in a relationship with a God who will not leave us or forsake us and is wiser, bigger, and stronger than anything we will face. I know you hear that from me a lot but there is a reason…I believe it. I’ve been a Jesus follower for several decades and while there have been plenty of pesky and painful things along the way—He has been faithful—even when I wasn’t. I love what the writer of Hebrews said in the Bible, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Period. Big or small, visible or not, there’s just comfort in knowing that no matter what, “He’s got this.” Bro. Dewayne