Cactoblastis and the Prickly Pear

In the 19th century when prickly pear was introduced into Australia it quickly took over, rendering much of our agricultural land useless. The industry was saved by the introduction of the Cactoblastis moth which lays its eggs on the pear; the larvae eat the inside of the pear, killing it from the inside.

While this is a good thing for our country, I cannot help thinking that it could be a reflection on a different level of what is happening here today.

The Prickly Pear has spines that are part of its defense mechanism, but it is no match for the destruction that goes on inside itself when the larvae hatch.

The same could be said for our country. It doesn’t matter how strong or fierce we look; if our country is being destroyed on the inside, we will be doomed anyway.

What does the Cactoblastis larvae look like for our country? Our disrespect for each other, wanting to look after number one first and the country last, are all ways in which our country is being destroyed from the inside out.

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
~ Mark 8:36

Yes, I know that there are many people out there who are doing just this. They are putting their lives on the line every day fighting the fires that are also destroying our land. There are those who are working hard taking hay, food and water to our stricken farmers. However, these situations would not have been as dire if over the last decades people had been more concerned with the country than themselves.

An area in Australia infested with prickly pear, before Cactoblastis was introduced.

It will only be after we change the way we do things, and put the overall good of the country before personal profit and fame, that our country can recover from the destruction that we are experiencing, which will leave this country very vulnerable.

A return to the Biblical principles that our country was based on at Federation will be a good start.

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
~ Philippians 2:3


Lord, please forgive my selfishness. May I put You first in my life, and by doing so think of others first, and trust You to look after the things that I need.


Write a letter of encouragement to our farmers this Christmas — an initiative of Rural Aid Australia.


By |2019-11-12T08:55:31+11:00November 12th, 2019|Australia, Authors, Faith|0 Comments

About the Author:

Helen was born in Mount Isa, the eldest of five children of Salvation Army Officers, and lived an almost nomadic life until she was fifteen. She discovered books as a preteen and read a lot, well into the night and occasionally all night. Two stories that captured her imagination were Anne of Green Gables and Little Women. Just like the heroines in these stories, she wanted to write.

A learning disability, which was not corrected until she was in her thirties, meant that schooling was a real struggle. It also meant that her dream seemed to be a distant mirage. Helen started writing poetry in her late 30's and had some poems published by the local newspaper. It was not until her late 50's that her dream of writing a book was finally realised. She now has several books published, which proves that God often takes us to places way beyond our dreams.

The struggle of raising five children and being a wife to a shearer/farmer in a small town, taught Helen a lot about life and the grace of God. During this time, she also completed her teaching degree and worked many casual jobs, in order to ensure that the farm was viable.

Today, she still lives on the farm in the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales. She has established a small publishing business with her daughter, which can be found at: and blogs at The Helen Brown Collection.

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