The Family From Yosemite
The Ant Miracle
by Martha Reynders Blair
The weather was warming up and unfortunately Tom and Janna had the Chickenpox. I was regretting not having had them vaccinated. The vaccine hadn't been out for very long when they were little and because of that my very cautious doctor did not recommend them getting vaccinated. He was worried and wanted to see if there were any reports of reactions over the coming years. I agreed, but now I wasn’t so sure. They were both miserable with what seemed to be exceptionally bad cases or at least worse than anything I had previously endured with my older children.
I tell this only because it just added to my discouragement that day - the day of the ants. Don’t get me wrong, I've dealt with ants many a day. It seemed they would show up every year when spring would come. Busy and industrious they would enter my home in search of water and food. They were the little black ants - sugar ants they called them.
I had learned to control them. I was too worried about money to consider pest control. Funny though, when we moved to our new home Hughie insisted on pest control because the ants started filing in about a year later, just like they always did. But we could afford it then so I didn't argue and I've been very happy and content to keep them at bay. A spray around the house every couple of months seems to do the trick, but I digress; back when I was “in-control” I used “Terro” - a product a friend turned me on to that saved my life from sweet eating ants. Granted, I had to live with the ants marching in for a period of time, but eventually they stopped. Once I found a trail, I would place the poison in a discrete location while the toxin worked its magic. That was the routine - set it out and wait.
I had been waiting approximately three weeks for the parade to stop and it did one day - abruptly. With no black ants in sight I thought,“One less thing for me to worry about.” I was so happy and pleased about the situation because I was in the midst of Chickenpox quarantine. But that very night I was up late after everyone else had gone to bed. As I cleaned the kitchen, all of a sudden I saw an ant on the wall, coming up from behind the stove. I soon had a great appreciation for little black ants. Their docile trail that filed quietly straight to my poison unaware were nothing compared to the aggressive red ant I now stared at. It was searching and my “Terro” wasn't anything it was interested in. I figured it must have come from the same access point the black ants had obviously cleared, wherever that was; and at that late hour there was no pulling out the stove to look. More red ants came right behind their leader, searching, filing, and searching. I tried to wipe them up and they didn't let me do it easily. They were fighting mad, mean, and malicious, “You get out of my way! I’m here to stay!” was ringing in my ears in spite of their silent menace.
What was I going to do? It was late at night. There was no point going out in the darkness looking for bug spray. I was tired. I had sick children. I didn't have a remedy. Standing there in frustration and torment the Spirit whispered, “You can pray about it?” I paused, I thought; a light went on in my mind and yet I was doubtful at the solution that had presented. I was so upset about my circumstances because I knew ants would be all over my kitchen and maybe the entire house by morning if I just let it go. But I really didn't have any other options.
After a final swipe and still seeing more red ants perilously marching in from Mojave, I went to my bedroom. I knelt down and pleaded to my Heavenly Father. I told him about my situation; how my husband was asleep and would be leaving for work early the next morning; how I wasn't in a position to leave the house because of my children being in the middle of full-blown Chickenpox. I needed help now not later. Sure I could desperately get pest control the next day, but not before an ultimate takeover of red ants had ensued. “Please Heavenly Father, take these ants away. Please, please, please, please, please! You’re my only hope and I need help.”
I admit I wasn't too believing as I finally crawled into bed. In fact, I fully expected to wake up to disaster, but one thing I did know - the Spirit had prompted me to pray. I could not deny that and I did believe that if the Spirit told me to pray I should do it and I did and I hoped my nightmare would be gone or at least the army of ants somehow held at bay until I could get some help.
Why did I doubt? God parted the Red Sea when the children of Israel needed it in their escape from Egypt. Mary Fielding Smith’s ox was healed when she needed its help to cross the rugged plains west to the promised Zion. The scriptures and others have testified of miracles - so yes, I believed it was possible that God could help me, but I really only hoped that God would answer my plea. I just wasn't certain. I guess it was easier to read about the experience of others than to think that it could really happen to me here and now.
You cannot imagine my reaction as I got up the next morning and slowly approached my kitchen. I tiptoed. I peeked. Looking not only once, but twice, and three times in amazement. “Ask and ye shall receive,” is what exactly went through my mind. There was no sign of any ants in spite of how aggressive they had been the night before and in spite of my doubt. I was so grateful they were gone. Needless to say, it was a tender mercy of a miracle, my life was so much easier as I endured our family Chickenpox epidemic and happily it was my last. After ten years of trials my pediatrician was finally on-board for the vaccination so Sam never got the Chickenpox.
One other side note, I claimed those ants were marching in from Mojave, but a better guess would have been the dirt lot right across the street. I found out they were even closer than that. One day while talking to my neighbor he asked me if I ever got any red ants? As he complained, he explained it was a constant issue for him and his wife. I could clearly see he was very burdened by an incessant plague. But happily I said, “Only one time and I haven’t had a problem since.” And I never have.