Praying about the Ants

Praying about the Ants

by: Kristyn Perez

For several years, my husband and I lived overseas working at a school for special needs children. Living in the tropics of a third-world country was both challenging and rewarding. We tried our hardest to adopt local customs and cultures that were not our own. We learned how to speak the native language, how to dress, and how to buy food from street vendors. We learned how to use "squatty potties," and how to order meals at restaurants. We also discovered the world of tropical insects, and for those few years we cohabitated with little geckos, mosquitoes and from time-to-time, cockroaches. About two years in, we learned that during flood season, these little critters would come inside in droves to stay dry, living in the cracks and crevices of the walls. Within a few weeks of our first flood season, I started to notice that we had a problem: there were ants EVERYWHERE. They would be on the items we would expect (e.g. cereal boxes), as well as on those we wouldn't: intact bananas, napkins, name it! Despite spending weekends cleaning out the pantry and making sure everything was sealed, our little houseguests remained. What started as a minor inconvenience began to become a major stressor for me. I'd make jokes about our new housemates, and quote Proverbs about how ants never rest- but in my heart, I was deeply bothered. Though the ants were tiny, they were a major annoyance in my life while we were eating, cooking, sitting. It felt like we couldn't set anything down anywhere without it being consumed by ants. DG-instas-June24-1 We tried everything. We used every ant bait in the country. We tried leaving things spotless, and still our problem remained. The ants had found their new home, and they weren't leaving anytime soon. The one thing I hadn't done was pray. It's kind of embarrassing to think back about it now. Scripture calls us to pray without ceasing and considering how much time I spent thinking about the ants, I should have done it sooner. I had spent so much time figuring out how to get rid of the ants, that I hadn't bothered talking to God about my problem. So, one day, when I was desperate, I finally brought my ant problem before the Lord. I told him about what was going on and asked that he take away the ants. The next morning, they were gone. The millions of ants that had covered our kitchen had disappeared overnight. Even now as I recount this story, my eyes are tearing to remember how relieved I was that morning. We had spent weeks trying to fix the ant problem on our own, and after praying about it, God had somehow fixed it all overnight. I think in my mind, the ants should have been a "minor" problem. Ants are tiny, and although they were everywhere, I felt like I shouldn't have been as annoyed by them as I was. No one was dying over this, and God had provided so much for us already. But the truth is: our God is a good Father, who wants us to talk to him about everything! Sadly, even after such an immediate response from the Lord, I didn't completely learn my lesson. So often, I'll still do this. I'll pray about the big decisions in life: where to live, what job to take, whom to marry. But I think I can handle the smaller day-to-day problems on my own. I don't view prayer as a way to commune with my Creator- sharing the joys and struggles of my day, but rather as a means to an end for the big stuff. DG-instas-June24-2 But what do the Scriptures say? We should pray at all times, and in all occasions. As it says in James, "Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit." James 5:13-18 So, friend, is there anything that you have been struggling with- that you haven't prayed about yet? Have you shared about the joys and challenges of your day, as you would with your best friend? Have you brought the minor inconveniences of your day to the Lord? He knows them all, and he cares for you in the midst of them. Our God is a good Father. He wants to be more than our "big decision" genie. He wants to have our whole hearts. God tells us to bring everything before him. Even the ants. DG-instas-June24-3
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