A Lesson From the Carpet Beetle

Photographer:	gbohne Attagenus_pellio_(Dermestidae)_-_carpet_beetle

(Photographer’s caption: Here the beetle is a friendly pollinator sipping nectar; however when entering human houses …. fur, skins, textiles will be readily 🙂 )

From time to time, we have carpet beetles in our home.  Little round black beetles who do have wings under those shells, but seem loathe to use them.  I happened to witness two different beetles this week.  The first beetle was trying to traverse the cat’s cat litter mat in front of the cat litter enclosure.  Rather than open its shell and use it’s wings to avoid the difficult terrain, it crawled and stumbled and fell over a few times, all the while picking its way across the cat mat.  The going really did appear difficult and rough for the tiny thing.  The other beetle I witnessed, had landed on my shoulder at my desk.  As is my habit when something lands on me that I don’t want there, I brushed off the black dot, only to realize it was one of these beetles.  But rather than fall to the floor, it spread it’s shell, caught itself in the air and flew off.

The presence of these beetles means we have to be more thorough about our vacuuming habits, but observing the very different attitudes and behaviours of these two tiny specimens came to me as an object lesson.

How many times do we as God’s children, forget that God has given us wings of Eagles to rise above our circumstances and soar?  We receive these wings every time we spend quality time with God in prayer and reading His Word.  We are told in Isaiah 40:28-31  Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.  29  He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.  30  Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:  31  But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Yet here we are, like the first beetle I saw, trying to traverse the road of life with its pitfalls, crevices, sharp edges and difficult terrain, stumbling as we go, slipping here, falling there, yet still trying to move forward in this journey we call life.  All the while, God is standing there, wings in hand, wanting to help us rise above those difficulties and get where we are going much faster and in a more pleasing manner with less struggle.

Now this isn’t to say the life of the Eagle in the air doesn’t have its own struggles.  In order to soar, the eagle must learn to spread its wings in the face of oncoming wind, catch that wind in its wings and allow itself to be buoyed up in the process.  So often in life, we feel the winds of adversity in our faces and we run for cover!  I am guilty of this myself at times.  But when we turn and face the wind head on and spread our wings, we find ourselves buoyed up by that self-same wind and what was a dire situation becomes one leading to triumph and incredible vista moments with God above the storm.

I realize, and so does Scripture, that not everyone is ready or able to face those winds all the time, so God speaks of hiding us in the cleft of the rock.

Exodus 33:22  And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:

Psalms 27:5  For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

There are times to be hidden away in God, and there are times to face the winds of adversity and soar because of them.  There is no need in either situation to be as the little black carpet beetle who struggled to cross the cat mat with its treaturous terrain.  Let us be hidden in God and then let us soar, taking the brush-off the world sometimes gives us, catching our wings and taking off to where God is leading us regardless of what tries to throw us off course.

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