Covid-19 Devotionals

Pests that Kill

Due to me having an appointment today, I decided to do the lawns yesterday. But first, I needed to repair the section where the contractors from Frogfoot (the company who did the fibre installation) dug up the lawn to lay the fibre (we still do not have fibre–eight days later). They did a poor job replacing the grass. I removed the grass sods, as they were between four and six inches below the grass patch. Once the sods were out, I found a huge hole going under our palisade fence to the pavement. I decided to mix some compost and lawn dressing that I had to fill the hole and level the ground to re-fit the lawn sods. In all, I used eight bags of each. One of the last two bags I emptied into the wheelbarrow to mix had cutworms in it. Because cutworms destroy plants and grass as they attack the plant stems and grass roots, I sifted the mixture and killed all the worms. I had on old ‘army boots’ that flattened them!

I don’t know whether the cut worms were in the lawn dressing or the compost mixture. Both were in thick, white plastic bags. You can’t see into the bag. These worms wriggle themselves into the compost or lawn dressing. Once under the mixture, you can’t see them. So it took a lengthy period to sift this mix because some of it was lumpy. In this way, I could find the worms. I found the following two articles about cutworms

If you are wondering how to get rid of cutworms, start with nontoxic methods like plucking out and crushing the larvae or plunging them into soapy water. And when you remove plant detritus and destroy it, you will also remove and destroy any cutworm eggs laid there. One way to keep cutworms from destroying your seedlings is to create a barrier to keep cutworms out. Place aluminum foil or cardboard collars (think toilet paper rolls) around transplants. Be sure the barrier extends into the soil to keep burrowing worms out. You can use also use chemical pesticides to kill cutworm pests, although this should be a last resort. If you have to use pesticides, apply the product in the evening since cutworms come out for feeding.

Developing larvae, cutworms, and pupae overwinter in the soil especially from previously grassy areas. Cutworms emerge in the spring. Mature cutworms return into the soil where they will dig a small chamber in which they pupate. Adult moths emerge from overwintered pupae or early-season pupae. Causing no damage, they fly around at night (attracted to electric lights), mate and lay eggs late in the afternoon or at night. Some species lay a single egg or small groups of eggs while others like the variegated cutworm lay closely-packed rows of over 600 eggs. The incubation period ranges from two to 14 days depending on species and temperature. The eggs hatch as cutworms. All cutworms have the same general life cycle; the length of stages varies somewhat. All stages of the variegated cutworm develop rapidly and three or four generations per season are possible. Others may have only one generation per season.

The bottom line is that these are pests. They kill your plants, vegetables and grass. They resemble the ‘sin plague’. When cutworms start to work on your plants and you get them sooner than later, you can save your plants. If left for a while, you might lose some of your plants. It left for an extended period, you might lose all your plants. A friend gave us a plant bulb that gives one flower per year at Christmas time. This plant flourishes with light, but not sun exposure. It multiplied and we had three plants. During the past summer, I found similar cutworms in one pot. They had already attacked the stem and killed the plant. Sin runs a similar pattern if your life. If you arrest the ‘sin cutworm’ quickly, minimal damage is done. If you permit it to continue longer, it starts to create havoc in your life. If you leave it to run its course, it will destroy your life completely.

Let me use an illustration from when I was a teenager. I was rather rough and ready (sadly so). I went to a cowboy bar with some friends. A man staggered in, going from person to person asking for a drink. He was old, ragged, skinny, unable to talk properly, dirty, stinking, no teeth, extremely wrinkled … and above his eyelashes horns were tattooed. He was a total drunk; a street bum; an outcast from society. Someone said to him, “Manny, sing for a drink!”

There he was, cooing, “Manny wants a drink!”

Laugher followed. He might have come from a good family, but living a life of drunkenness left him no better than a drunken beggar! This is what happens when you leave sin–irrespective what sin it is–to be ‘lord’ of your heart and life! That sin, slowly, slowly kills you mentally, emotionally, socially, physically, spiritually and eventually, unless a miracle comes from God, eternally! Sadly, this was Manny and many others like him. You are aware that many churches don’t mention ‘sin’ or the effects of sin … but the Bible does!

Ro 8:12 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Sin is the spiritual cutworm that kills. God is so loving that He points this out to us. He warns us to avoid … stop this spiritual cutworm from attacking and destroying our lives! We have an obligation as Christians to prove our salvation by seeking holiness. The cutworm is killed and removed from the garden or lawn when you apply deadly pesticide, killing them. This is the way we need to deal with sin … and the lethal blow is by the Spirit. You can’t do it alone. As the Spirit convicts you of sin, you need to find Bible passages that help plan a strategy and then pray persistently for help from the Spirit. You can’t have victory over sin by yourself. It’s a spiritual matter needing spiritual help.

Dear God, expose my sins to me and grant Your Spirit’s help, for victory is not possible without You. Amen.

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