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  • Virginia Brown

Summer and Life Frustrations in the Country

As a retiree from the USDA with a vocation in helping to manage pests—both insects and weeds—it has become easier for me to see to see the work of God Almighty, especially during the summer.


The warm months seem to be all about weed management, and the shear diversity among the grasses (cool- vs. warm-season grasses) and broadleaf plants adds to the complexity of managing the weeds. To add to the frustration, summers also turn into a war on the grasshopper. We have some 90 species of grasshoppers in South Dakota. Some are quite destructive (just ask Sharon about her flower garden), and some can be beneficial eating only certain plants. Amazingly, grasshoppers cannot interbreed. God made the grasshoppers so that each species can mate only with its own type, thus preventing the creation of a super destructive hybrid type grasshopper.


As I take long walks with my dog, I reflect that this type of diversity must have a Creator and cannot be the result of chance over time. This realization does not make pest management any easier, but I do get a perspective that we serve a God worthy of our worship. I believe we serve a Creator that allows us to have an active role in pest management who enriches us with a wide range of control strategies and techniques to make their management largely possible, and yet God also creates the pest we seek to manage.


The verse that helps capture both my frustration with pests and my adoration to God for creating them is Rom 11:33 & 36: “Oh the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgements and how inscrutable His ways! For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.”


Bruce Helbig, Member


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