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We are in a dearth

honey bee flower

MelaniWright | Shutterstock

Jennifer Hubbard - published on 08/07/23

My heart feels so heavy because dearth has always struck somewhat personal. I have lived many a season of dearth where love was not easily found and hope taunted.

His hands were calloused and cracked, years of toiling imbedded deep into the crevices.  He worked the frames while hundreds of curious creatures gathered onto his ungloved hands, never once stinging him. He navigated the rows of stacks of boxes, bees swirling as if drawing him into the hive. 

The morning sun was peaking over the trees; cicadas had already started hissing at the sweltering heat. With no clouds in the sky, the drought would press on for another day. Pastures had all but browned. Nectar was nowhere to be found. As he closed the last bee box, he looked at me quietly and said, “We are in a dearth.”

Dearth is a time of scarcity. For the bees, dearth leaves nothing on which to forage. The nectar flow ceases. Dearth happens every year. I know when it is beginning and yet when I hear the beekeeper utter the words, my heart feels heavy. The gentle breeze carrying the scent of meadows brimming with flowers and me sipping coffee as steam floats from the greening grass back to the heavens seems a distant memory. Lush and fragrant turns to parched and scorched.  

I think, in part, my heart feels so heavy because dearth has always struck somewhat personal. I have lived many a season of dearth where love was not easily found and hope taunted.  Loss upon loss, prayers seemed to fall in a great abyss and there seemed no relief in sight. Dearth for me is as if I am wandering in the desert where oases are nothing more than mirages, my heart so thirsty it runs the risk of becoming calloused and cracked. 

And yet, as it always happens, the beekeeper went on to tell me he would begin feeding. Ah, the sweet slurry that sloshes from the spigot to hives. The sugary syrup would sustain the bees until the meadow presented her amber hues of fall blooms. Week after week, for however long this dearth will linger, the beekeeper will return, gently lifting the lids, offering nectar to keep the bees sustained.  

Truth is, sometimes, I simply need to be reminded. You see, I am sustained in my moments of dearth. Our Lord God feeds me, just as he fed his people manna from heaven and brought forth water from a stone. Never am I abandoned, but offered the sweet nectar of my Lord’s grace. This time, on this morning, with the cicadas hissing in the distance, it was the beekeeper who was that reminder.  


This is part of the series called “The Human Being Fully Alive” found here.

PrayerThe Human Being Fully Alive
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