Saturday, November 27, 2010


“Try alcohol with an eye dropper. Just a few drops into the soil and then on the leaves to run down the stem,” Bob informed me.

“Half the plant has been devoured. I just hope it comes back,” I sighed.

So this morning I set about pouring about an inch of rubbing alcohol into a plastic container with a narrow tipped opening. Carefully I administered drops here and there into the soil and upon the leaves as Mr. Bob instructed. I’m almost at my wit’s end. The brightly colored pink, voluminous Begonia that welcomed all to my apartment in the summer is now half its original size with only a few blossoms sprouting forth.

First I thought they were aphids attacking it. Thus, I prayed for God to send a swarm of ladybugs. Last year, we couldn't’t get rid of the ladybugs. This year? Not one to be found. I couldn’t let this beautiful plant be eaten by these disgustingly, evil, white sticky bugs; whatever they were. Hence, on Wednesday I ventured to Home Depot’s garden section. One older lady overheard me explaining my dilemma to an employee and said she used something to mix with water and pour into the soil. “The spray stuff doesn’t really work,” she lamented.

The tall middle aged man scanned the shelves for what might help me. “We don’t have anymore. At this time of year, we’re all out. You're better off trying Adam’s,” he suggested.

Back out to my vehicle, I trudged, hoping I would find something to save my precious plant. At Adam’s I walked through the outdoor garden section filled with the aroma of fresh pine needles and brightly colored lights and decorations for Christmas. I found an older, short and stout man who directed me towards a container of systemic granules for insect control. “They sound like mealy bugs,” he commented. I didn’t know what they were. I just wanted them gone. I picked up the large container and proceeded to the checkout.

Once I got home, I read the directions and sprinkled my new weapon evenly over the soil before mixing it in and thoroughly watering. “I hope this works,” I muttered. Only time would tell if it would kill the invaders. Until then, I would need to keep a watchful eye. With each additional day, I have still found a few of those evil, destructive insects spattered amongst the leaves. I wiped them off and today I applied the rubbing alcohol. I can only hope this will be the end of the infestation, but will remain vigilant. After all, beauty in this life must be preserved and well guarded at all costs.

In Matthew 24:12-13, it reads, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

Last night, my friend, Stacey shared how she had to stand firm or be devoured. After three days of living in Morocco, she was wakened one night and felt something begin to grip her around the neck; an evil presence announced its displeasure. She called out to God and prayed. He answered her with, “What are you going to do?” Her response was one of sheer determination. She declared, “I will worship you God!” For the next few nights, Stacey endured similar attacks, and she fought back! She prayed. She danced. She worshipped. She won the battle. The evil presence left and did not return. From then on, she slept peacefully.

I'm not giving up on the battle over my Begonia and I am reminded I should not give up in other areas as well.

Timothy admonishes us to “Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you-guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.” 2 Timothy 1:14 and more importantly Jesus declared in Matthew 10:22,"he who stands firm til the end will be saved."

Undoubtedly, attacks will come, but there is help and there is hope.

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