Ashlie Miller: Honey in the rock

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 20, 2023

Pulling the boiling water pot off the burner, my 5-year-old and I mixed sugar until it dissolved, creating a tasty nectar for the hummingbirds that have returned and are nesting in our neighbor’s yard. We were delighted to spot them as we read books and nibbled on breakfast on a rainy Saturday morning. Only the day before, we had also made a smaller version of this nectar for the butterflies that recently hatched from chrysalises for our study on metamorphosis. Later in the day, after a walk through our neighborhood, the intoxicating aroma of wild honeysuckle lured us to a nearby vine to harvest. So much sweetness in our world — nectar that we have provided for two of the tiniest winged creatures and the natural nectar provided by the Creator.

Pondering the hummingbird, the butterflies, and the prized honeysuckles, I recall the sweetness God has provided for me over the years. This reminder draws me to Psalm 81 which tells us how God longs to provide care and kindness in our lives. Throughout this Psalm, the author alludes to God admonishing His people (Israel) for their continual struggle in failing to listen to Him paired with His desire to lead and bless them:

“But he would feed you with the finest of the wheat, and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.” (Verse 16)

There is nothing quite like the taste of honey. It is soothing in a cup of tea, healing by the spoonful for an agitating cough, and a delightful treat drizzled across a warm, buttered croissant. What a cure for my sweet tooth! When I need something to brighten my mood, I know just where to find it.

One hymn writer wrote, “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.” The children of Israel knew this sentiment intimately, often turning away from God. We, too, feel this pull to pursue other things we think will satisfy our souls. As humans, why do we feel the need to seek satisfaction? Why were we made to be drawn to anything? Or anyone? I believe the Creator put that instinct within us. He not only lures and invites us, but He alone can fully satisfy the longing simply because He created us. How fitting that the Creator would know the perfect remedy to fulfill our appetites, and yet, we often find ourselves pursuing fulfillment someplace else!

God has a cure in the hard places where He often leads us. Even when it feels dark, cold and lonely, He will feed us with what we need to continue. He also will nurture our hearts and souls with gifts of goodness we would not otherwise experience — sweetness for the soul that we would miss if we did not journey with Him.

Where do we find this goodness and sweetness in the depths of wandering, in the craggy places in life? The joy of the living Word of God is that it can continually provide goodness day after day, not only during a crisis. His Word never fails to grant this to us! Can we remember how it has provided comfort and assurance in the past? When we recall how it has sustained us in the past, will it prompt us to turn our wandering hearts to Him? May your week be filled with hunting for God’s goodness.

Ashlie Miller grew up in China Grove and is a pastor’s wife, who is a homeschooling mother of five in Concord, where together they look for hidden sweet things.

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