In the last episode of Caleb’s Journal, I shared with you how both Moses and Paul had a physical experience involving baskets which had an underlying spiritual significance in their lives. I believe that in many ways the experiences we have in our physical lives are there to teach or witness to us spiritual realities. In other words, our physical and spiritual lives are intimately connected and they mirror each other.
So in this episode of Caleb’s Journal I want to do something a little different. I am by nature a very private person, but today I like to share with you some experiences from my own personal life wherein I am seeing my physical life mirroring my spiritual realities.
As I became aware of this it was such a source of encouragement to me as I literally started seeing the hand of God at work in my own life. I saw how He was shaping me as a person and how this had a direct effect on the community He has placed me in.
For the last 20 years or so my vocation has been to work with my family in a retail store themed on honey and the amazing life of the honeybee. When we first started this venture I knew nothing at all about honey and the bee, but over time I learned that the bees truely are industrious insects and together with the people that visit our store I stand in constant amazement as to how many products she produces for our benefit. Our customers are free to enjoy the sweet tastes of the many varieties of honey collected from the rugged Australian outback and their experience is not much different to Jonathan, the friend of King David who, as he was walking in the woods, dipped his rod in the honeycomb and his eyes were enlightened (1 Samuel 14:27).
Honey has this amazing effect on people… somehow, the sweetness of the honey makes us see things in a different light. In many cultures honey is seen to represent wisdom and if we look in the Scripture we see that honey is intimately connected with the Word of God… (Psalm 19).
It is the Word of God that enlightens. This is also seen in the beeswax that the bees make. We use the wax to make candles. Many of our customers have enjoyed this pure light in their homes. As I make the candles my thoughts often turn to Psalm 119:105 where it says;
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.Psalm 119:105
It has become my prayer that this blessing will find its way into all the homes in which our candles burn.
Although I love the work that I do, the long hours and always being in a position of service in the front of house has not always been easy… many times it required sacrifice… sometimes I grumbled, like the Israelites in their wanderings in the wilderness. Yet, as the Lord fed and sustained the Israelites of old with the manna – which of itself tasted like honey – so I learned for myself that the true manna, the bread of Life, the Word of God (John 6:31-33) was that which sustained me over the years and fulfilled me in ways that those things I needed to sacrifice never could have.
In many ways I have come to experience for myself, through my work with the honeybee, that the Word of God is the honey that enlightens the eyes, giving us new and deeper vision, and that His Word is also like the candle that shines on the path to show me the way.
It was through personally experiencing this truth for myself that the Lord started forming me into a vessel of true service. The way I approached my daily work became more refined. I no longer saw it as a job that needed to be done but rather as an opportunity to share, in some way, with my wider community, the Light and Life of the Word of God I now possessed.
But life is not all about work… Finding a hobby that would fit with my busy work schedule was a bit of a challenge. I needed to find something I could do in the evening hours. I really enjoy needlework, but I felt like I needed a change. So about 10 years ago I decided that Astronomy was the go.
Armed with a $10 cardboard planisphere I embarked on my celestial journey and taught myself how to find the planets and constellations. Little did I know at the time that a few months later I would be burying my Dad in the local cemetery just up the hill. He passed away quite suddenly after a short illness and this loss left a big void in my life. Looking back on that time I realise how much I relied on my Dad… but now he was gone.
During this period I went out every evening to look at the starry night sky. I didn’t realise at the time what I was really looking for… but it gave me comfort. As I discovered, for myself, each of the different constellations it was like a new frontier was opening up to me. Each new discovery filled me with both excitement and amazement at how my Heavenly Father could have created something so beautiful for me to enjoy.
As I delved even deeper, I started to see that the heavens were like a scroll, a book, in which the Lord had written His own love story for His people… the Gospel. In Psalms 19 I read that the glory of God is declared in the heavens and that night after night these same heavens reveal knowledge and that this knowledge goes out through all the earth.
Over time, I came to experience that my Heavenly Father was using this ‘hobby’ that I had stumbled upon to lead me into a deeper relationship with Him and to fill that void I felt, when my earthly father passed away, with a love that I had not previously experienced. This in turn had an effect on my wider community, as having experienced His love for myself, I was now able to start witnessing that to others.
In future episodes of Caleb’s Journal I like to share some more of this love story with you, as it is not only meant for me, but also for you.
Looking back, I did not consciously choose my job, nor my hobby of astronomy… it just happened. The Lord led and guided my steps all the way. He used my experiences in my physical life to remind me and bring to the fore the spiritual realities that were already in my heart. Although it was not always an easy road I see now how His loving hand has guided me into finding and fulfilling what my Israelite heart longed for all along… my Lord to abide with me. This was a blessing not only for me personally, but also one I feel we as Israelites are destined to share with each other so that we may experience this transformative love also as a nation and become a blessing to the world.
I realise this is a process, and takes time… but I pray that by having shared a little of my walk with you today that you too have been inspired to take a glimpse back over your life to see how the Lord has used your physical life to bring back to mind your spiritual reality.
If you feel you can share your story, I would love to hear from you as then we will be able to walk together as one to shine forth His glorious light to a world which sorely needs His healing touch.
May the Lord bless you richly today. Till next time.