Years ago I perused a book, Honey For A Child’s Heart, by Gladys Hunt. Aptly named it was filled with lists of books, categorized by age and grade, to nourish the spirits of children from pre- through upper-school. A resource that, for this inexperienced mom, was a boon, one I could take in hand while braving the bookstore stacks. Its title recently brought other thoughts of honey to my mind.
A dear friend, now residing in heaven, called her grands and loved ones “my honeys.” “Hello, my honey,” rang her voice, the sweetness of her spirit inferring pleasure when she greeted me, warming my soul. “My honey.” What did that term of endearment actually mean to her? Dare I think my friendship brought honey, nourishment, enjoyment to her heart? I’d like to think so. Her memory still uplifts me.
Where and who are my honeys? Such treasures I’ve been given in husband, family, extended family, and friends, old and new. Each one a living book still being written, all whose stories I have but glimpses into, some chapters pushing me to the edge of my seat as their danger-fraught mysteries unfold; others where I can rest and rejoice in their victories and delights.
Isn’t it interesting that honey is produced by some of God’s tiniest creatures, feeding from beautifully created flowers that grow miraculously from even tinier seeds? A thick syrupy substance full of sweetness and goodness formed not by man’s hand. A gift to nourish us. A gift used in some cases for healing wounds. A gift, as are children and loved ones. Yet even honey, this near perfect food, can become contaminated or adulterated, just like relationships, when cared for improperly.
Spoiling the honey, mankind fails. I cringe at the plethora of damaging voices shouting at our children through books, schools, and media, confusing them with ungodly ideas, building unstable foundations that seek to destroy rather than help them find their true identity as children of God. For the uses and abuses people purposefully inflict on one another. When facing the hurts or confusion I have caused in others, it breaks my heart, for causing suffering is not a badge I want to wear. Seeking forgiveness, hoping for reconciliation that might not occur in my timeline or lifetime, can hurt. Still, when I am wrong, I must do my part to mend the rift, to bring the balm. And rejoice when healing begins.
Honey comes to my heart as God’s living words comfort me, and I endeavor to right my wrongs His way. His forgiveness and love, even though I have messed up yet again, affirm He loves and cherishes me, no matter how others respond. No wonder I run to Him! Repentance and forgiveness is a gift, like honey, that is not man-made. Those blessed ideas come from a benevolent and loving God. The Bible, God’s living Word, the greatest book ever written, surgically dissects the rot out of us, and applies God’s healing balm to nourish and transform our souls to wellness and new life. No matter our age or stage, our souls need to taste His love, and desperately need Him, the true and everlasting honey for our hearts.
Psalm 119:103 (NKJV) 103 How sweet are Your words to my taste,
Sweeter than honey to my mouth!