Fire Ants in the Rose Garden

IMG_2441I love roses. Not the artificially perfumed hothouse roses you find in the florist shops; the honest-to-goodness home-grown kind I find in my own garden. One thing I don’t love is the weeds. And the fire ants. Welcome to Florida.

The other day I was dead-heading my roses—a necessity if you want to keep blooms on them all year long—happily trimming along, enjoying the beauty and the fragrance when OUCH! I felt a sharp stinging on my foot. What the . . .! For something 1 millionth my size, that little fire ant sure packs a punch, especially if he’s invited several of his pals over to join him.

I’m not allergic to fire ant bites, thank the Lord, but I have a friend whose son is. When he inadvertently stepped on a hill, he nearly had to go to the hospital. Some quick administration of Benadryl averted a disaster.

But the itching and pain can still cause a lot of discomfort, even for the non-allergic. But mostly, I just hate the fact that my beautiful garden is a haven for the heartless beasts.

But isn’t that just like life?

You’re going along nicely, appreciating the beauty around you, being thankful for the beautiful creation, happy with your friends and family. Suddenly WHAM! something hits you broadside. Maybe a child suddenly becomes sick. Maybe a parent passes away. Maybe a pipe bursts in your house and causes a major flood.

Like those little fire ants in my rose bed, the sorrows and pains and grief of this world can distract me from the beauty. But my roses are still beautiful and fragrant.

And God is still good.

Just watch where you’re stepping.

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