Thursday, September 11, 2008

Discovering Termites

By Rachelle J. Christensen

After attending a reunion, my family came home to discover our garden hose had broken and water had sprayed into our basement for several hours. The basement was partially flooded and as we surveyed the damage, I noticed several places where the paint was sagging off the walls revealing the sheetrock behind it. In one place, the wall seemed particularly weak.

“Look,” I said to my husband and I extended my foot towards the base of the wall where the weak spot was. I touched the wall with my toe and it collapsed. In surprise we knelt down together to look at the hole in the wall. It seemed to be filled with dirt. The next day when professionals came to survey the damage they took one look and said, “You have termites.”
“Termites! But we don’t have termites in Utah!” was our reply.

Now we know that there are actually termites in 49 of the 50 states (only Alaska is not plagued by termites). This knowledge amazed us and every person that we told. Everyone would say, “I didn’t know we had termites around here.”

My husband and I talked a lot about the termites and how insidious they are. If it hadn’t been for flood damage we wouldn’t have discovered them within our walls. We continued to find more affected areas and as the costs of repairs rose, I said, “I’m afraid to look anywhere else because of what additional damage I might find.”

It was a very stressful time as we tried to restore our basement to its proper form. Every day, different people would come in and out to work on repairs. My schedule was disrupted and the quiet time I was used to having to read scriptures, meditate, and write in my journal was constantly interrupted. Soon, I felt the effects of the stressful situation manifested in how I was treating my family. I had a difficult time communicating with my husband and maintaining enough patience to sustain me throughout the day as I cared for my two toddlers. A simple weakness in a garden hose had unleashed all kinds of problems on our home.

I learned something very important from those termites. Termites are very much like Satan: subtle, insidious, and crafty. They find an area of weakness and descend upon it with a whole colony of workers to support their destruction. Satan finds small ways to disrupt our lives and upset the balance of our homes. Once Satan finds a way in, he too can cause horrible damage.
Satan’s ultimate plan of action is to destroy the family. If he can destroy the family he will have succeeded in destroying our Heavenly Father’s plan and our divine mission on earth.

Satan’s first mission is to destroy the marriage that started a happy home. The staggering divorce rates evident testify that he is indeed working at this goal and many homes are falling to his devices.

Satan uses termites of many different forms to eat away at our marriages. Slowly they break down the walls we have against the outside influences of the world. They eat at the ties that bind and with subtlety destroy the crossbeams that our marriage covenants stand on. If these termites are not checked, the marriage will become an empty shell and lose the hallowed purpose and divine nature that Heavenly Father bestows upon all sacred unions between a man and wife.

To treat for the termites, we had to have a team of people come into our home and drill holes every twelve inches into the foundation. They drilled hundreds of these holes on the inside and the outside of our home and then pumped a substance into the holes that would permeate the surrounding areas and kill any termites that come in contact with it.

We must be just as vigilant with our own homes. We need to make sure our homes are permeated with the Spirit.

To keep strength in our marriage we have to enter a place that has walls that are impermeable— the temple. Within the walls of the temple we are reminded of the sacred covenants we have made and what we need to do to keep the walls in place. The most peaceful moments I had during the many weeks of disruption were when my husband and I sat in the temple.

Just as Steve and I knelt to discover the first signs of the termites, I was reminded that the best way to discover signs of weakening in our home in the future would be through kneeling in prayer often together as a family, couple, and individuals.

All Satan needs to enter our homes is a very tiny crack, a weak spot, a chink in our armor. We always have to be on our guard against his destroying powers. Often, Satan has a direct course into our home through the television, radio, or other media influences that are so heavily disguised as “normal” in our world. Satan’s termites are found in all 50 states and all nations worldwide; his termites are building colonies around every home and family and making plans to destroy them. Just as you would crush a termite that you find in your home, so should we all crush Satan’s attempts to enter and destroy our homes.

Return to the Neighborhood


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