A Mighty Lesson from the Lowly Flea

Bed bugs and fleas and mosquitoes, oh my! Bed bugs and fleas and mosquitoes, oh my! Nothing takes the shine off the yellow brick road faster than an infestation of vermin.

Americans can fly to the moon, produce Olympic athletes and dominate at world power summits but household pests bring us to our knees. Why?

Because vermin have a secret weapon against which we modern Americans have few defenses. They are persistent, they persevere, and they usually cannot be dealt a single death blow. Fighting these miniscule enemies requires diligence, patience and a greater show of meticulous regulation and perseverance than these insects can muster. And too often we just don’t have what it takes.

I am a late convert to perseverance. Historically, I have avoided Bible verses about perseverance because to read them meant to face the truth of my own shortcomings in this area. But, God is impervious to my attempt to live in denial. He perseveres.

And so I have come to see the light and the value of perseverance and even the suffering which is the soil in which it grows.

James 1: 2-4 says this: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

If the Lord is working to cultivate perseverance in our lives, we would be wise to yield to His work. Take a lesson from the bed bug, the flea, and the mosquito who consistently confound, outlive and outwit humans who are capable of creating the Internet, penicillin and HD TV. Learn to persevere.

Evil is persistent. Evil is as boring as a gnat or a flea and yet, it is persistent because evil’s sole purpose is to destroy. Humans are notoriously impatient and easily distracted. We rise to crisis and to singular occasions but we have a sad track record when faced with the slow steady drip of persistent assault.

Evil is aware of this weakness and exploits it.

God is aware of this weakness and seeks to overcome it in our lives.

Take a lesson from the vermin who seek to live off the very blood that courses through our veins: you may feel small and insignificant in a big world but through perseverance, you, too, can fell the giants around you, experiencing victory in the end.

James 5: 10-12 says this: “Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”

Persevere, loved ones. Persevere.

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    The Conversation

  1. Paul says:

    What an awesome post! It is always amazing to me how the Spirit of the Lord takes the simple but small things to share such large truths. Thank you for sharing this timely word on perseverance! Blessings, Paul aka The Mayor 🙂

  2. Thank you, Paul. God does seem to be impressing upon me the value of working small. His perspective is so different from ours, isn’t it? Blessing back at you! Lori

  3. Karin says:

    Seems to me that we can draw courage from one another to persevere!! Thanks for a great post!

  4. Lori, that was excellent! I, too, avoid perseverance, but I’m learning too because my awesome God cares about me and my growth. Thanks for posting and your thoughts.

  5. Lori! I’ve been absent for a while. Working on my ms revisions and getting settled into our new home. I love this post. I love it, because I need it. Perseverance takes an awful long time! Thank you for the reminder. I love the verse in James… “what the Lord FINALLY brought about.”

    Love it!

  6. KB Cook says:

    Lori – I’ve been reading your blogs for a few months now & have not commented until now. I’m always “tweaked” by the concepts you communicate. Hope you will keep sharing. I’m a long-time convert to perseverance and I agree with your take on the issue. Thanks!

  7. Shannon! So cool about the manuscript. Welcome back.

    Karin, I couldn’t agree more.

    Marilyn, stay the course, my fellow writer.

    KB, so glad you’ve left a comment. It encourages me to continue on.

  8. Great post, Lori. One of my best perseverance lessons was going through seven hard years of the writing submission process. You may have heard me say that I got 63 rejections before I ever had anything published. I often think, What if I had stopped at 63? What if I had never sent that 64th query? Truth is, it probably wouldn’t have made a huge difference in the world, but it would have made a huge difference in my life. I can’t imagine life without writing and speaking. I know they’re two of the things God created me for…and it took some hard perseverance to discover that. 🙂

  9. Cheri says:


    What a wonderful post! I can so relate. When my girls were in junior high, we had a bout with lice . . . yes, even homeschoolers can get lice!! They picked it up at a birthday party where the kids wore blindfolds to participate in a party game. Ugh. We had a terribly hard time getting rid of it, and I certainly did learn a lesson in perseverance!

    On a similar note, I have persevered . . . for years . . . and my book is ready for purchase!! Be on the lookout for a blog post with purchasing info . . . still persevering in figuring out how to get that on my blog!!

    Love you,