The Miracle of the Fire Ants

Annette Nay, Ph.D.

Copyright © 2000

Being born and raised as a Utah Mormon, some how I got the concept that God was too busy to deal with my small problems and that I should only bother Him with my big ones. I donít think it was ever openly said that way.  I think I came to understand that concept from the way Utah Mormons use priesthood blessings.

I remember that when we heard that someone got a priesthood blessing we knew that either they were really ill or they were about to die.  So I never asked for a priesthood blessing as I grew up in the church.  As my husband and I moved from Utah out in the mission field (at that time it was anywhere but Utah) I began to realized that husbands gave Patriarch or Fatherís Blessings to their children and wife as they or the father desired for help on specific exams, at the beginning of the school year, or to help his family get over illnesses.  Any good reason was a reason to give a blessing.

I soon learned the value of being able to ask my husband for a Patriarchís Blessing  for starting a big project, going back to college after nineteen years of being away, and for help getting over migraines.  Even though I used this priesthood resource as needed, I still had a problem about asking the Lord directly for His help for minor things. 

Then the day came that I was burdened with a problem that seemed trivial but was driving me crazy.  I had to have help.  At the time I was living in Summerville, South Carolina..  Summerville is just out side of Charleston.  It is a beautiful place to live in the Spring.  The town is covered in azaleas, wisteria, and Dogwood Flower and Tulip Flower Trees.  The moss or Goatís Beard drapes every tree and waved a cherry hello in the slightest breeze.  As beautiful as Summerville is it did have itís drawbacks, one of which is Fire Ants.

Fire Ants built tall mounds of dirt to make their homes in.  The mounds drew my boys like a magnet.  They loved to kick the mounds and watch the ants scatter.  The ants were not happy with intruders.  The whole bunch of them would softly creep up an appendage of a person and upon a signal they all began to bite.  They would go on biting until they were knocked off or killed.  While trying to get them off my children I would inevitable get bitten too.

Their bite felt like a match had been lit and put to the skin.   After a few hours a solid pustule formed at the site of the bite, which never seemed to go away.  If the pustule was broken it felt like another burning match had been put to the skin. 

My Waterloo came the day I discovered Fire Ants coming into our home.  They began by coming through the electrical outlets.  This was before the safety plugs for outlets were invented so I used masking tape to tape over the outlets that I didnít use.  I put electrical plugs in the ones that I did use.  This helped a little.

But every morning I would kill lines of ants marching across my cupboards in search of some morsel left in the kitchen.  This went on for a couple of weeks until they started coming in under windows, under doors, almost everywhere.  Normally, this wouldnít have been a problem as one only had to call the exterminator to come spray the house.  The spray left a residue that continued to kill the intruders for months.  I couldnít do this because I had a baby crawling where the spray would be and I also had a dog.

It wasnít long before my baby was being bitten mercilessly by the Fire Ants as he crawled through our home.  I was at my whitís end.  I needed help.  It as at this time that I was reading Alma 34:19-27 which reads:

19.  Yea, humble yourselves, and continue in prayer unto him.
20.  Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks.
21.  Cry unto him in your houses, yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day,  and evening.
22.  Yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies.
23.  Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness.
24.  Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them.
25.  Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase.
26.  But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness.
27 Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in

prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you.

Which I translated to meant that there was nothing that the Lord didnít want to hear about in my life.  Where could I have gotten off the yellow brick road?  The road I was on lead me away from my Heavenly Father.  I immediately went to my Heavenly Father to talk to Him about the ants.  By the next day the plague of Fire Ants in our home had almost disappeared.  By the end of the week we had no problem at all.

I am so grateful that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me and wants to hear all about my life with all its problems and wants to help me with all of them.   And thatís the story about the miracle of the Fire Ants.

Annette Nay, Ph.D.

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