• Michelle Joy • June 30, 2020
I’m a houseplant lover. Okay, borderline houseplant hoarder. There! I said it! I admit it! I love looking at them. I love caring for them. I may even talk to them from time to time. I keep thinking I’ve bought my last plant, but somehow I keep finding spots for each new plant. I intend for each plant purchase to be my last; I really do, but….I just keep finding that perfect one to add to my collection.
So, you can imagine my horror this week when I noticed one of my four spider plants was not doing well. Some leaves were curling up. Some leaves had brown spots. Some looked lifeless. The poor plant wasn’t acting itself.
Upon further inspection, I saw that the plant was covered in spider mites (gasp!). I immediately started researching what to do because I knew this couldn’t be good. The plant looked awful! I quickly scoured the internet for help. I read article after article. “Spider mites are one of the most destructive houseplant pests. They can heavily damage or even kill a houseplant in a very short period of time.” kept leaping off the page at me. Urgency. That’s what I felt. I had to do something… NOW!
I quickly started inspecting all of my houseplants for spider mites because the articles said they could spread quickly. Spider mites suck the sap out of the leaves causing them to shrivel up and die. This process will kill the houseplant and kill it quickly. You have to take quick action. I needed to isolate my infected plants and begin treatment while watching my other plants for infestation. I had no time to waste.
This whole process brought on so much anxiety. I had spent hours planting, separating, repotting, feeding, watering, and simply tending to my plants. I had so much invested in them. How could a sneaky little pest come in my house unannounced and start wreaking havoc on my plant family?
I hate to admit it, but my first instinct wasn’t to pray about my plants. Yes, houseplants are important to me, but I was pretty certain this wasn’t an issue about worth praying. Instead, I flipped back and forth between panic and pity party.
Finally (I’m so sorry, Lord), I decided to pray. As I prayed and listened, the Lord really started calming my heart. He also started speaking to me. I quickly realized He had some lessons for me in this seemingly small to most problem.
So, here we go. Here are the lessons God has been teaching me through my spider mite infestation:
I have my infected plants quarantined outside. I am inspecting them closely each day. I’m treating them with a special spray. I may lose one or two of them because I didn’t catch the spider mite infestation in time. But, I will be more diligent now with my other plants. I will watch for the first signs. I have been inspecting the underneath of all the leaves because that’s where they like to hide. I’ve been shining a flashlight on them. May we do the same. May we be diligent about inspecting our lives. May we watch for signs that things aren’t okay. May we be okay with allowing the Lord to shine a light on our lives, revealing things bit by bit as we are ready.
Please show me areas where I need your gentle care. What symptoms am I showing that could affect those around me? What is sucking the life out of me? Who am I allowing access to me that shouldn’t have access? Search me. Show me. Help me. I give you full access to my life.
Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.