If you’re a young seedling trying to survive, the worst thing that can happen to you is to be set upon by a cutworm.
Gardeners know this all too well. We start seeds indoors early in the season, with grand visions of the sturdy and beautiful plants they’ll eventually become. We baby the seedlings and give them just the right amount of water and light to set them on their journey to a bright future.
But then, soon after we’ve planted the seedlings in their forever home in our garden, disaster strikes.
The dreaded cutworm arrives in the night and stealthily attacks our precious young plants. It eats through their tender stems at ground level, cutting them off at the knees, as it were.
When we eagerly bound outside in the morning to check on the progress of our young charges, we’re confronted with a garden plot that has been laid waste in the most cruel way. Severed young plants lie helplessly wilting, cut off from the roots supplying them with sustenance. There is no hope for them now: they will surely die.
What makes it worse is that the cutworm hasn’t even bothered to eat the whole seedling, like a rabbit would: it seems to have acted out of sheer spite.
The cutworm has done its worst, and all we can do is mourn.
I’m overdramatizing this, of course, but the frustration, anger and sense of powerlessness gardeners feel when faced with the cutworm’s nefarious deeds are very real.
Even if you’re not a gardener, you’ve probably experienced emotions like these in your life. I’m sure we all have.
Because there will always be people trying to cut you down to size.
They insinuate that you’re not quite good enough, not really up to scratch. In their minds, you’re unqualified, conceited, a phony or too big for your britches. They may go about their attacks in a stealthy, subtle way, but their message is still clear: they don’t like you and they want to sabotage your future.
Sometimes they seem to act out of sheer spite, even though you’ve done nothing to warrant their hostility. Their strikes can come out of the blue and blindside you, just when you were feeling hopeful about what lies ahead.
Who are these people? They’re the cutworms of our lives.
We’ll all encounter them at one time or another. But how do we handle their unfair tactics and animosity?
If there is any truth to what the “cutworms” accuse us of, then obviously we need to take this to God, ask His forgiveness and correct our behaviour.
Much of the time, however, the accusations we face are unwarranted and untrue. They’re meant to cut our confidence down to size, make us question God’s goodness and gradually sever our connection to what gives us sustenance.
If you’re a believer, the first thing to recognize is that we have a real enemy who means us harm. Sometimes Satan works indirectly through people. We might not recognize the true source of the onslaught against us. But the criticism, ridicule and condemnation we face is meant to rattle our trust in God and poke holes in our identity in Christ.
We need to combat this by reminding ourselves of our security as God’s beloved children, that there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, and that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.
We also need to be forgiving of the people who have said unkind or untrue things about us. Take the matter to God in prayer, and ask Him to help you deal with these unwarranted attacks in a loving and forgiving manner.
Finally, trust that God will eventually make things right. The cutworms of your life may introduce setbacks and injustices into your situation, but God can redeem even those. He is a good, good Father, and promises to work all things together for your good and His glory.
And that includes the havoc wrought by “cutworms”!
© 2021 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.