“Nobody likes me. Everybody hates me. I’m going to go eat worms,” says the taunt against feeling sorry for ourselves. However, eating worms may make good sense.
Laura Agadoni, in her article, “Worms As a Food Source for Humans,” reports, “The reality is that humans in almost 90 countries eat insects and worms…in some parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America, people regularly eat worms.
“Some restaurants in the United States have jumped on the bandwagon to offer something different to patrons who consider themselves “foodies” or who want to claim bragging rights to their friends. Eating worms once in a blue moon in a restaurant, however, and eating them on a regular basis as part of your normal diet are two different animals. In fact, people who eat insects regularly as part of the culture typically do so out of necessity. Once people enter the realm of the middle class, their worm-eating repertoire will likely fall by the wayside…” (livestrong.com)
Worms do give us a clear picture of a lowly life. In a Bible prophecy, the coming Messiah cries out, “I am a worm and not a man.” (Psalm 22:6)
If worm-ness is good enough for the Messiah maybe it’s okay for us too. In fact, Lowly Worm, the pleasant, helpful and well-dressed worm in Richard Scarry’s illustrated children’s stories is an inspiration. He drives an apple car and has only one leg (his tail!). Still, he is always a positive, encouraging role model.
“Worm Jacob” is God’s nickname for the patriarch Jacob. God says, “Fear not, Worm Jacob,…I am the one who helps you.” (Isaiah 41:14)
Nicknames are interesting. I love my late father’s full name—Marryat Fletcher Teale Parker, Jr.—but he hated it because his schoolmates called him Mary. Dad tried shortening his middle name to Fletch and using it, but that didn’t work either, he said.
Finally, while in the Navy during World War II someone called him, Mickey. Dad grabbed it for dear life and was known as Mickey thereafter! Although everyone in his family, including Mom, called him, Parky. Another, pretty cool, non-Mary, nickname!
Rock, or Rocky, is the nickname Jesus gives Simon at their first meeting. He declares, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Rock” (Cephas, in Aramaic; Peter, in Greek; John 1:42)
Joseph, is nicknamed Barnabas, or “Son of Encouragement” by his church friends. (Acts 4:36) Saul, the Jewish Pharisee, eventually uses his Roman, and more global name, Paul, as he becomes the apostle to the nations. (Acts 13:9)
“LittleFaith,” is a nickname Jesus gave his disciples. In the original Greek, “little faith,” is a vocative noun, which is actually, a nickname. We miss that in English and read it, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?”
“Worm Jacob” I often adapt for myself as in, “Fear not, Worm John…I am the one who helps you.” While I don’t want to “go eat worms” sometimes I do feel lowly, weak and worm. Happily, when I claim worm status, I feel comforted, safe, and strong. It’s then that I let go of my own power and sense God assuring me, “I am the one who helps you.”
Are you feeling weak, lowly, and down? Let the God, the One who helps worms, be there for you too! “Fear not, O worm ________(your name)…I will help you, says the LORD; your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 41:14)
“Giv’m heaven!”—Worm John
John Parker helps leaders who want to facilitate small groups toward rebuilding functional practical-family style events. Interested? Let’s talk. Contact me at (209) 564-7201 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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