Today as I watered the plants on my porch I couldn’t help but chuckle when I looked at one of my tomato plants. It is only about 18 inches tall; not a leaf on it. A tomato worm got fat on it a couple of weeks ago and a few days later I noticed a tiny fruit on it near the top. So here is the plant; still has no leaves on it but there near the top is a tomato about golf-ball size. I guess you could say my crop failed this year. Squirrels have torn up the other two plants.
Sometimes I wonder why I even keep trying to grow anything good to eat in containers on the porch. I wasn’t aware that roses are good to eat until this fall. Something ate the leaves and blooms off the side of the pots facing the yard -- two pots with roses -- on my back porch. That mystery didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out. The hoof prints were in plain sight, in the dirt by the slab. And I’m still not sure, but I think the cutter ants took all the leaves off my gardenia bush. I have decided that I like to study the clues and identify the enemy. Keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. Finding something to stop them is another story.
I know what to put on the ant hills. It doesn’t kill them, but they do move away. The roses come back nicely and will survive. The squirrels are another story. I have tried every home remedy and countless gadgets that are supposed to deter them, only to be fascinated by their ability to figure out how to get what they want anyway. They are very creative.
In life it is very important to learn how to identify an enemy. Anything that will keep us from doing what we know is right and good is our enemy. Not all of them walk around or even talk. Most often it’s those things we keep hidden in our thoughts and hearts, the negative things. It’s easy for us to keep those locked away and we feel justified because we don’t speak of them, but they tend to fester into much larger things as long as they are locked away. And they become our worst enemy. We can’t control them if they’re allowed to control us. There is no repellent to sprinkle on them, nor gadgets to hinder them.
I think the best remedies for these things are found in Scripture. My mother’s favorite verses are Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, oh God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting”; and Psalm 19:14, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
You may think it strange that I start off talking about squirrels being an enemy and end with Scripture. I know the enemy. I named one of those pesky squirrels Satan. And he is trying real hard to live up to his name. I don’t think kind thoughts about him, and I am tired of him feeding on my tomatoes. I plan to have one fried green tomato this fall, if he doesn’t get it first. Then I know I’ll try again next year.
We reap what we sow, and keep watered and fed. Anything growing in your heart or mind?
Have a great week and give God the glory!