When they come into my house, they face certain destruction.
I don’t think the ants are truly following a food trail or anything. I think they’re just trying to escape the water in our yard. Thanks to the fact that we had a wet winter and then have received nearly twice our normal amount of rain for April, our yard has been converted into a swamp with anywhere from one to three inches of standing water. An inch of water is a lot for a little ant!
This isn’t the first time we’ve suddenly seen an influx of these unwelcome house guests, but every single incident has seemed to coincide with increased rain and flooded yards.
The ants instinctively look for a dry location, and our house fits the bills. So, in they come through cracks and holes, gaps under doors, and up through drain pipes. But instead of finding dry safety, they find destruction. They are crushed, poisoned, or drowned as soon as they are spied. No ant that is found is allowed to live in my house. Not one.
Despite the obvious difference in mental capacity and processing skills, those ants remind me all too often of humans.
First there are the unsaved humans. There is an instinctive awareness of impending destruction. So, the lost do whatever they can to escape that destruction, and as a result head toward even more certain disaster. They are created for the perfect relationship, but they run in droves toward empty relationships instead. They were made for divine satisfaction, but they try to satisfy with things that kill. All the while, they march as determinedly as the ants to certain destruction – at least until they are plucked from disaster to eternal salvation.
But, even the Christian humans seem bent on the path to destruction. Not eternal destruction, mind you. We are His. Permanently. Completely. Eternally. But, think about how we try to fill our needs. We still run after empty relationships instead of interacting with the One who makes all relationships beautiful. We still seek to fill our restless desires with vacations, outings, food, and stuff instead of letting His peace reign over our restlessness. If we were to relate to Him first, our empty relationships would become full of Him and oh so fulfilling. If we were to seek His peace for our restlessness, the vacations, outings, food, and stuff would become beautiful extra gifts from the hand of Him who satisfies all our needs. Instead of being like ants who follow the flow into a house only to have to run into cracks and holes to escape destruction, we can be like ants who find safe, dry higher ground.
We don’t have to live in constant fear. We don’t have to escape the destruction of this temporal life by the skin of our teeth.
Have you read any of the Psalms lately? David was in a flood like the ants swarming into my house have found themselves in. He was surrounded by trouble and calamity on every side that sought to destroy him. In fact, there was not really any time in his life – at least from what is recorded in Scripture – when David truly had earthly peace. But, look at the first few verses of Psalm 40 with me…
I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear and will trust in the Lord. How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust, and has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood. Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders which You have done, and Your thoughts toward us; there is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, they would be too numerous to count. Ps 40:1-5
Oh how verses like those make my heart sing! When we look to God’s Word, we, like David, can find perfect and complete satisfaction and freedom. The floods don’t necessarily go away, but we find ourselves protected in them with perfection. Meanwhile, we find our need for nourishment supplied, and our hunger for relationship filled. We find our restlessness conquered by peace.
Instead of swarming to temporal fulfillment with the ants of this world, may we instead join David in waiting patiently for the Lord, allowing Him to lift us out of the flood.