Isaiah 40:29
“He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.”

Most of us know that a plant under stress is more likely to have problems with insects. If a plant is dry, for example, we water it, hoping it will regain its health and stand strong against insect attacks.

Borkhausenia fuscescens moth feeds on dried plantsBut in the wild, no one shows up with a watering can when it gets dry. Ironically, most of us are trying to get our own plants to grow as well as they do in the wild! Now science may have discovered a provision the Creator has built into plants to protect them from modest water stress.

Severe water stress is bad for plants, but modest water stress actually aids plants in fending off insects. For example, a plant’s leaves become tougher to chew and contain less nourishment when they have too much water. On the other hand, when leaves are short of water, they begin producing mild insecticides. Some plants also start producing waxes and other substances to protect themselves under stressed conditions. Once water stress is removed, plants can return to normal operation overnight.

The Creator has wisely provided for both plants and insects by means of this balance. When plants have enough water and can afford to provide food for insects, insects may munch away, undeterred. But when a plant has barely enough for itself, it is given the ability to fend off the insects.

Lord, so many times in our sinful world we are tempted to accept the idea that life really is survival of the fittest. As a result, our love grows cold and our tolerance of what we should tolerate is short. Forgive and strengthen us, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Photo: Borkhausenia fuscescens moth feeds on dried plants. Courtesy of Michael Kurz. (CC-BY-SA 3.0 AUSTRIA)