Stop Gnawing my Broccoli Plants!

Published 9:26 am Friday, November 18, 2022

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The world of agriculture can be rewarding, but it is not without challenges and frustrations.  Whether on a small scale or large one, working the land in hopes of a harvest comes with many obstacles.  Even though my dealings with tilling the soil is minuscule and a hobby rather than a means of gainful income, I know what it is like to pour time, effort, and money into plantings that fail.  Those failures are often not because of improper cultivation techniques but from outside and uncontrollable factors.  I had a fresh reminder of that when I put in my fall garden.

Several weeks ago when the time approached to transplant cabbage and broccoli plants to my garden I quickly found that the cost of ready-to-transplant plants had increased in price more than I wanted to pay.  I realized that a few cents worth of seed would yield enough plants to feed the neighborhood, so I planted the tiny seeds, babied them as best as I knew how, and they thrived.  After I transplanted them in the row I had prepared for them, they took root and after undergoing a few days of shock they survived and it looked like a good crop was just a few weeks away.  But that expectation was dashed when I noticed that some varmint had found my precious plants; little by little, whatever the critter was, it started to gnaw away at the lush fresh leaves that I was attempting to grow.  Not willing to give in to defeat, I devised a plan to resist the problem.

As I acknowledged the need to resist the intruder that was destroying my fall garden, I was reminded of the spiritual conflict that we face as followers of Christ.  The Bible reminds us that we must “Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8, New International Version).  We cannot afford to ignore that there is a fierce enemy of our souls working overtime and in deceptive ways to interfere with our spiritual well being.  If we deny or refuse to admit the reality of Satan, the devil, we are setting ourselves up for spiritual defeat.  Chuck Swindoll was on track when he wrote, ““Whoever lives under the impression that Satan does not exist is living in a dream world.”  He went on to add that “No military commander could expect to be victorious in battle unless he understood his enemy.”  Just as it was necessary for me not to ignore the existence of a problem in my cabbage patch and attempt to figure out what to do about it, it is essential for us to deal with the spiritual attacks of the devil on our lives.  We never gain ground in battle or overcome the struggles that we face by doing nothing or living under the illusion that everything is alight when it clearly is not.

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God, in His infinite wisdom, does not leave us without hope when we come under the attack of Satan’s schemes.  We are instructed in 1 Peter 5 to “Resist him[the devil], standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (verse 9).  Furthermore, James 4:7 reminds us to “Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”  Those two verses offer us two powerful tools that we can utilize to give us victory over Satan’s attacks:  the application of firm faith and submission to God.  By putting those into practice quickly in such times we gain a powerful shield of protection from God to help us to continue to move forward in our determination to live for Him.

Did my reaction to what was gnawing my plants work?  I won’t make any claims there, but if you see me at the local Pig with a head of cabbage and some broccoli in my buggy, please don’t laugh.  However,  one thing is certain:  God’s provision of victory over spiritual attacks is far superior to ours.  Submit to Him and stand firm in your faith!