This summer we discovered something horrible. We have scorpions in our yard! Check out this picture we took one night of a scorpion eating his dinner (a bug) on the side of our home.
At any rate, my mind often discovers analogies in everyday situations and challenges. So finding this horrible little creature in my yard, I figured I'd better come up with some sort of analogy and learning experience at least!
Here's my analogy if you can follow my rambling thoughts....
Although we live in the desert, we have never had scorpions. We know they are "out there" and we know other people's families have had to deal with the issue of scorpions, but luckily we felt we were immuned to these sorts of troubles. We felt bad for those families who had to battle the scorpion problem and we never imagined that a challenge like that would ever happen to us. But the reality was, we did have scorpions, but whether they were new to our property or had been in hiding, we had to face the hard truth that we were not immuned to troubles. Our family was in danger of being poisoned and we needed to be vigilant about destroying the scorpions. First step was taking away their food source (bugs) by hiring an exterminator to spray on a regular basis. Next step, a daily regiment of going outside with a blacklight to find the critters and crush them. Sometimes with the bottom of a shoe, sometimes with a hammer, sometimes with a blow torch or if needed, with bug spray. Also, instead of being embarrassed about having scorpions, we decided to talk to our friends and neighbors about our challenge. Turns out they had scorpions too.
This is like life. None of us are immuned to problems, adversity, challenges, temptations and struggles. We cannot look at others who struggle and say, "I'm sure glad WE don't have problems like that." We we ALL have adversity in our lives (whether caused by external or internal matters). Just like the scorpions were trying to invade our yard and possibly harm our family, Satan is trying to infiltrate our family and home and destroy us. To protect our home/family, we need to fill our home with good things and work out all the bugs. We put filters on the computer, don't watch inappropriate movies/TV shows, be careful on our music choices, obey the Word of Wisdom, etc. We have "scorpion hunt" daily to get rid of the scorpions. Similarly, in life, we need to repent daily as we make mistakes, pray individually and as families, study the scriptures and keep the commandments. Doing these things every once in a while will not give us much strength as keeping on top of these things daily (just like killing the scorpions every week or month won't help much). Also, when we struggle with weaknesses, temptations, challenges, problems, etc., rather than pretending like life is perfect, we can share our struggles with trustworthy friends/family who can help us and support us. Chances are they can relate and want to help.
Now I can honestly say I am grateful to have those scorpions. Every night as I hunt them down and squash them, I am reminded about protecting myself and my family from the adversary, and I realize that acknowledging problems and facing them head-on (with a hammer in hand figuratively), is the first step in fighting the battle.