By: MiKaela Miller
Katie squinted as the late afternoon sun glared in her eyes. She watched the gravel road for signs of her dad’s pickup truck. He had gone to the small town nearby, and she was eager for him to get home so he could fix her broken tire swing.
Katie grinned as she spotted the familiar blue pickup coming around the corner and pulling into their farm’s driveway.
Katie rushed out to meet her dad. “Dad! I’m glad you’re home. Would you have time before sunset to fix my tire swing?” Katie suddenly noticed Dad’s face looked worried.
“Katie, I wish I could,” he sighed, “but right now I need to talk to Mom about some bad news I heard in town.”
Katie’s face puckered into a worried frown as she followed her Dad into the house.
“Did you get everything you needed in town?” Mom asked as Katie and Dad walked through the door.
Dad sighed again, “I got everything I went to get, but I found out from our neighbor that there is a huge swarm of armyworms in some of the fields near here.”
Mom gasped and her face matched Dad’s worried look.
“Eww, worms! How many of them?” Katie asked as her nose scrunched up in disgust.
“Too many to count,” Dad replied. “And the problem is not that they are gross, Katie. It’s that they like to eat wheat crops, and it doesn’t take long for them to destroy it. They start eating at one end and just munch through the whole field.”
Katie suddenly understood why Dad and Mom looked so worried. It was August, and that meant the wheat crop was about ready to be harvested. The wheat must be protected so that they could sell the harvest.
Dad continued, “Our neighbor told me the worms have already eaten many of the fields nearby. Some of the local farmers are getting airplanes to spray chemicals on their fields to stop the worms.”
Mom looked out the window at the sinking sun and said, “Well, Sabbath will be here soon so that doesn’t seem to be an option for us.”
“That’s how I feel too,” Dad said, “It’s too late on Friday to do anything now, so we will just have to wait and check our field after Sabbath is over.”
“We could pray about it,” Katie said as she watched her parents exchange worried looks.
“Or course we can,” Mom said. “Thank you for reminding us. God certainly cares, and we know He will take care of us no matter what.”
“I’m proud of you for suggesting it,” Dad said. “It’s important that we honor the Sabbath by not doing any work or hiring others to do work for us. The Sabbath is meant to be a special day of rest and worship. Even if we can’t see how we can solve our problem by keeping the Sabbath, we need to honor God’s law.”
The little family knelt to pray together on the floor. “Dear God,” Dad prayed, “You know our field is in danger of being eaten by the armyworms. We are choosing to honor Your Sabbath. Please help us to know that we will be OK no matter what happens. In Your name. Amen.”
Sabbath passed in a happy blur the way it always did for Katie. She enjoyed her Sabbath School class with her friends, listened to Pastor Dave’s sermon, and ate a meal at noon with her church family. She and her parents had a fun afternoon taking a walk outside in the sunny weather, and they closed the Sabbath by having vespers as they always did. Nobody mentioned the armyworms, and Katie felt a peace about it as she fell asleep that night.
Early the next morning, Katie’s eyes popped open, “Dad! Mom! Let’s go look at our wheat field!”
Dad poked his head into Katie’s room. “Hurry and eat your breakfast, and we will all hop in the pickup and go take a look.”
Katie barely tasted her waffles and orange juice. She was the first one out the door, waiting at the pickup. Mom and
Dad were right behind her, and soon all three were buckled in and ready to drive the short distance to their field.
“This reminds me of the Bible story of the plagues in Egypt,”
Katie said as they bumped over the gravel road. “God took
care of the Israelites even when the Egyptian’s crops were all eaten and destroyed.”
“That’s true!” Dad said. “I hadn’t even thought of that. But we have to trust that God will take care us even if
He didn’t answer our prayers in the way we hoped He would.
Katie pressed her nose against the window and looked out at the rolling fields surrounding them. The evidence of the armyworms’ appetite was everywhere. Only a few days or hours before, golden whe
at had stood waving in the breeze,
and now the stalks were broken and cut down and the kernels of wheat were eaten.
As they rounded the corner to their wheat field, Katie let out a gasp. “Look! I see our field! It doesn’t look like any of the wheat has been touched!
Mom and Dad had huge smiles on their faces as the pickup pulled to a stop at the edge of the field. Carefully they all walked along the edge of the field, looking for any signs of the worms. “Amazing! Absolutely amazing!” Dad exclaimed. He pointed to the field right next to their own, where it was plain to see the worms had had a feast. All of the plants were eaten and destroyed right up to the edge of their own field but their wheat stood tall in the morning sunshine.
Mom looked like she was blinking back tears, and Katie let out a whooping yell of excitement. “God saved our field from the plague of worms!” Katie exclaimed.
“We need to thank God for this powerful answer to prayer that He has given us. And we need to always remember how important it is to honor God’s Sabbath day,” Mom whispered in awe.
Once again the family knelt for pray to the powerful God they worshiped.