I have lived in Georgia my whole life. And every summer it is the same thing. Gnats. We swat ‘em. We fan ‘em. We blow ‘em away out the side of our mouths. And unfortunately, we even find ourselves swallowing a few.
When we moved to Cordele five years ago, we were told that the gnats here come and go with the watermelon season. I have even been told that some people see a direct correlation between the gnats and the watermelons. I’m no scientist, but there does seem to be a connection. Maybe the gnats come to Cordele for the sweet melons? Who knows? Not me.
I have also found myself wondering why in the world Noah decided to include these pesky little flies in the entourage he assembled on the Ark. I know he did so because God told him to – but I think I may have questioned the Lord on this point. And when we get to Heaven, I may ask the Lord – “Why Lord? Why did you create the gnat? Why does it torment us so in sunny Southwest GA? Lord, I see no purpose for these things other than to make mowing our lawns impossible in June, July & August.”
But when I come to think of it, there are a lot of gnats in our lives. Things that seem to have no purpose other than to bring us grief. Gnats that buzz in the form of illness, loss, difficulties and heartaches. We wonder – “Why Lord, why did this come to pass? What in the world are you thinking? Surely this was a mistake – surely You somehow messed up here.”
But just like the literal gnat, these other gnats make no sense to us. We can’t wrap our minds around these situations, these struggles. We see no purpose for them. We just don’t understand.
In the end, we are left with two things. Our questions and our faith. And we must choose to believe that God is greater. That He is still in control. That He wasn’t caught off guard – that He didn’t lose control. His Word tells us that we won’t always understand. His Word tells us that His children have struggled with gnats since the dawn of time. The prophet Isaiah pens this quote from the Lord – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.” (Isaiah 55:8) But God doesn’t leave us with just a trite answer – He goes on to say – “So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.” (Isaiah 55:11-13)
In the grand scheme of things, we will always have our questions – “Why Lord?” But in the end, He will accomplish good for us. He will turn thornbushes into beautiful evergreen trees. He will turn briers into flowering, sweet smelling blossoms. He will lead us and protect us and give us His peace in the midst of confusion and question. And one day, maybe, just maybe, He will turn our gnats into butterflies. And I can assure you – I do so look forward to that day!