The Invasion of the Armyworms

Armyworms are a homeowner’s nightmare.  This past summer a neighbor texted us exclaiming that a legion of armyworms was upon them. Admittedly, I had never heard of armyworms and had to google them.  I read multiple sites to obtain the full picture of what we were dealing with, while secretly hoping that it would not be our plague as well.  If I am all-out truthful, I was hoping it was more likely that they do not care for their lawn as diligently as we do.  Begrudgingly I was wrong. The effort taken caring for a lawn is of no consequence with these pests.

Aptly named, armyworms are indeed an army.  The little devils’ strategy is to commit a well-planned air assault.  They are secretly flown in by way of a moth donning grayish-brown forewings.  Unbeknownst to the human inhabitants, it conquers your territory by placing its “bombs” on the underbelly of leaves on the bushes and plants.  Tiny soldiers by the thousands, maybe even millions, hatch and commence to devouring every inch of turf in its path.  They effectively “skeletonize” the lush, green growth.

God Speaks

Being in a relationship with the Father is an extraordinary and tangible experience despite what many critics may believe.  He is readily communicating with His children through the Holy Spirit, and intimacy is the key to an unshakeable relationship.  When you intimately know someone, their voice is easily recognizable.  God speaks to us through many facets of ordinary life by using experiences we can recognize to teach and guide us.

The Hostile Takeover

Armyworms and the Enemy of our souls have much in common.  Like armyworms march on our lawns, the Enemy’s (aka Satan) mission is to devour and desecrate everything God, the Father, planted, watered, and nurtured; leaving us as dry as Death Valley.   The Enemy carefully calculates his strategy, and orchestrates a masterful hostile takeover under our very noses. We can recognize this voice because it often sounds like our own, when in reality it is the Enemy’s voice echoing through our fleshly desires and human hearts.

armyworms, death, valley

As with the armyworms, we often do not see that the enemy has arrived.  Even If we notice something is somewhat altered, we do not perceive how infiltrated we are until it has eaten a large portion of our growth. We are often blind until God lifts the veil.

The Discovery

I crept out to my backyard and searched the ground.  At first glance, did not see the slender invaders, and breathed a sigh of relief.  Spared from the battle!  After all, we keep our lawn well-manicured and treated!  I was just about to conclude that we were in the clear of armyworms when I caught the faint wiggle on a blade of grass.

The veil lifted!  Littering the ground like compact onyx striped acrobats, I spotted the dreaded armyworms blanketing every inch of my carefully nurtured emerald carpet.  Then, I realized the magnitude of dead grass along the fence lines, marching its way toward the center of our lawn. Admittedly, I had not noticed some dead, crunchy, and brown spots flanking my yard.  Somehow, though, my eyes had only seen a small patch, when in fact, it was enormous!  How did this happen?  How did I not realize this pest was destroying the life growing in our backyard? The enemy was afoot and gaining ground before our very eyes, and under our noses.

The Strategyarmyworms, strategy

God wants us to blossom and flourish; the enemy does not.  Satan is a strategist.  He knows us better than we know ourselves.  He knows when, and where to pummel his prey. The goal is to beat us into submission, so we do not wield the power the Lord gives us.  In short, he wants us to throw in the towel.  His battalion (lies) often arrive under the radar of the unsuspecting victim.  He plants seeds of thoughts, desires, and lies in our hearts; then he waits for the secret birth of each tiny “worm” to emerge and begin to devour the growth.  Many times we overlook the areas of that are snuffed out.  We may even watch large patches disappear not realizing what we are experiencing. We see small areas of death but are blissfully unaware of the extent of the damage.  The Enemy, like the armyworms, tirelessly and effortlessly chomp away at each fine blade of growth God spent time manicuring in us.  The army marches on from the fringes of our growth, eating away inch by inch until it reaches the center, our hearts.  We must decide a course of action: either find a solution and eradicate the pest or just let them devour it all because we are tired of the work it takes to keep a beautiful “lawn.”

Your Weapon

As children of God, the answer is simple.  We must fight back.  We arm ourselves with the weapons (The Word) the Father provides to push against the ensuing army.  With God’s word, we build a wall of defense to keep them from advancing and take back our desecrated territory.  Jesus has given us the power and tools (His sacrifice) to destroy the enemy in his tracks.
armyworms, bible, God
Step 1:  Completely cover the ground with pest killer (scripture) to kill off the armyworms (sin) on the surface and stop the munching away at what we have left of our beautiful gardens.
Step 2.  Spray again to reach deep within the soil and exterminate the Devils buried deeply below the veneer; lying in wait until we forget they are there so they can rise again with a vengeance.
Step 3.  Repeat the process as many times as it takes to kill off any lingering pests (the source).  It is crucial to advance upon the source, or we will battle endlessly over and over and over again until we are bone-tired and forever retreat.
Often this process is difficult and time-consuming, and we risk being passive; exclaiming, “Just let the armyworms eat the darn grass! It is too much work. At least this way I will not have to worry about how it looks.  Besides, I am tired of messing with it.”  By taking this stance, growth permanently ceases, and all that is left is dry brown grass. The enemy commences marching upon his prey.

territory.

If we tune in, We Can Hear from Him

It is quite easier to remain with our heads in the sand, but God wishes to shine light into the darkness and lift the veil so that we can clearly see the path he has planned.  He wants us to blossom and flourish and is always speaking to us.  It is fascinating to discover the different ways in which our Father chooses to reveal messages to us (in dreams, nature, numbers, and other people). When we attune ourselves to the Holy Spirit, it is a miraculous and beautiful thing.  If we listen close enough, we can hear that he speaks to us on a constant basis.  It may be just a whisper at times, but when we train our ears to hear His voice, we can recognize our Father instantly.  This time He chose to deliver the message via little, pesky squiggly creatures called armyworms.

 

Bible photo by Brandie McCutcheon- Maldonado
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