19th Century, Agriculture, Current Events, farming, History, Intercession, Minnesota, Natural Disaster, Suffering

Grasshopper Plague 1873


June 12, 1873

“Grasshoppers darken the skies of southwestern Minnesota. For the next five summers they strip the land bare. Charities and the state provide some relief, but many farmers lose everything.” * 

“’The wheat!’ Pa shouted. He dashed out the back door and ran toward the wheat-field. 

The grasshoppers were eating. You could not hear one grasshopper eat, unless you listened very carefully while you held him and fed him grass. Millions and millions of grasshoppers were eating now. You could hear the millions of jaws biting and chewing. 

Pa came running back to the stable. Through the window Laura saw him hitching Sam and David to the wagon. He began pitching old dirty hay from the manure-pile into the wagon, as fast as he could. Ma ran out, took the other pitchfork and helped him. Then he drove away to the wheat-field and Ma followed the wagon. 

Pa drove around the field, throwing out little piles of stuff as he went. Ma stooped over one, then a thread of smoke rose from it and spread. Ma lighted pile after pile. Laura watched till a smudge of smoke hid the field and Ma and Pa and the wagon. 

Grasshoppers were still falling from the sky. The light was still dim because grasshoppers covered the sun.” Excerpt from “On the Banks of Plum Creek” by Laura Ingalls Wilder **

Holy Spirit, we don’t know why You allow tragedy, but we thank You that You somehow reverse every curse! 

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28 King James Version ** In recent memory, You’ve allowed Japan to be struck a fantastic blow: an earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear reactor instability. ***  

Many would find this a ‘proof’ that You are not God. They fail to see beyond the immediate to the fact that You’ve given us a will to choose You, or our own way. As a fallible human being, I may fail to see that in the depths of pain the potential for greatness of character arises. Nearly every Bible story contains a main character who suffers unjustly. 

Lord, I do not want to judge my state in their response to this plague. I do want to ask forgiveness for responses of anger or bitterness and unforgiveness towards You. Whether You allowed us to be tested, or whether the grasshoppers came because of curses on the land; You are righteous in Your judgments. Lord, forgive us our lack of trust that You bring life to the land. You truly are King of the Universe! May we bless You and not forget the days of life and health You also have given. 

We are fickle. We think You serve us instead of the truth that we are Your people the sheep of Your pasture. Father help Your Church to not cower in fear in the face of this accusation of the enemy, but answer with confidence in Your love. May we believe as David, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust him.” 


** “On the Banks of Plum Creek”; Newly illustrated, uniform ed. LC Online Catalog. Retrieved 2015-09-18.

*** https://biblehub.com/romans/8-28.htm

**** Fukushima Daiichi Accident, March 11, 2011. Internet. https://world-nuclear.org/information-library/safety-and-security/safety-of-plants/fukushima-daiichi-accident.aspx


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