We have never had many ladybugs that I have noticed. A few days ago though, as I bent to weed the okra yet again, I suddenly noticed on the leaf right under my nose an oval orange bug with black spots on it. A ladybug! I looked them up afterward, and I think the most interesting discovery was how they fend off their predators. They give off a stinky secretion from their joints. They are the skunks of the insect world.
Several times in the Old Testament you see the phrase, “They became a stench in the nostrils…” More than once God’s people began to stink up the place, either to the enemy they defeated by the hand of God, or to God himself when they began to live like their enemies.
The same thing can happen to us. I remember when we lived in town and occasionally had one of those knocks on the door. Usually those folks never came back—not because we were rude, but because we obviously knew the word of God and were not afraid to answer the questions they pose to get your interest. I think the fact that we had an answer to begin with threw them off track. One time we saw the same people come down our street a few weeks later. When they got to our property line, they actually crossed the street so they wouldn’t be walking any closer to us than they had to, then crossed back to get to our next door neighbors. I guess we had begun to smell.
Funny how the same thing can smell good to one and not the other. Paul said, For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life, 2 Cor 2:15,16. When Paul and his entourage preached, some people liked it and some didn’t. When we live the word of God in front of people, especially when we speak it, the same thing will happen to us.
Maybe that makes us ladybugs, saving the world from the pests with the sword of the spirit, the word of God, and saving ourselves the same way—repelling our foes with a smell they simply cannot stand—the sweet aroma of redemption. Isn’t that a good enough reason to get out your vial of God’s perfume this morning, and become a little more familiar with it? God is counting on us ladybugs.
But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 2 Cor 2:14.