Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.~James 1:13-14 ESV
Sometimes, we can learn important lessons from a spider.
I am not a spider lover. I don’t hate them. They do have a purpose on earth, but they invade homes, drop off ceilings, and make scary movies scarier. Walking into their webs makes me do ninja moves I didn’t know I could. Then something happened. I felt compassion for one spider.
On my way home from my small group, I stopped at a light. Something caught my eye. A spider. I screamed, imagining this dangling arachnid would blow into the car when I moved. I couldn’t shut the window fast enough.
The light changed, I made my turn, and a few feet later, something caught my eye again. The spider was at the top of the window. The wind had not blown it away. I continued, keeping one eye on the spider and the other on the road–not an optimal way to drive. Soon, I saw the spider flopping back and forth at break-neck speed.
I had trapped the spider’s legs in the window. No wonder the wind hadn’t blown it off. The spider couldn’t leave, and I was not about to open my window. The spider was in a sticky situation. I told “Floppy” to hold on until we got home.
LIFE’S STICKY SITUATIONS
My mind wandered to people stuck in situations who feel they have no way out. Bullying, a dissolving marriage, an abusive home, substance addiction. Devastating things that keep people stuck. I know that feeling well. Abused by my dad, I couldn’t get out until I reached eighteen. As a child, it was a lonesome, frightening feeling.
We can learn many lessons from a spider. Although life’s webs may seem hopeless, Jesus is the hope maker. All He wants is our trust.
FINDING TRUE FREEDOM
A person can get away from their home, marriage, school, or addiction, but getting away doesn’t necessarily mean freedom. Fear, anxiety, hatred, hopelessness, depression, nightmares, guilt, self-doubt, and self-loathing are emotions that can stick around. I carried many of them, and they were heavy.
Only after I admitted I needed God’s help and then purposed to seek Him, did I find true freedom. I looked to friends, family, co-workers, and acquaintances, but no one wanted to fix me. Only after I saw this Scripture did I look to Jesus Christ for my freedom:
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.~Galatians 5:1 ESV
Freedom in Christ brought healing from my past and enabled me to forgive. Most importantly, I didn’t have to hang on to those destructive emotions anymore. With Jesus, we can live in true freedom, even while the Lord is working out our situations.
As for Floppy, I exited from the passenger’s side, found a stick, opened my door, and used the stick to press the window’s button to release Floppy’s legs. Immediately, he dropped and landed on the stick. I shrieked, hoping it wouldn’t crawl onto my hand. I quickly placed the stick on the ground. Floppy took off after me and chased me into the garage. Not quite the grateful little arachnid I had hoped for.
Life has many webs. Although these may make us feel hopeless, we are not, because Jesus gives us hope. When we learn lessons from a spider, in this case, Floppy, we can let to of what has encumbered us, placing these sticky situations into the Lord’s capable hands.
What steps can you take to surrender life’s sticky situations to the God of hope?
Lord Jesus, I trust You will keep me, and restore my hope, as I navigate life’s troubling situations with Your guidance. Thank You. Amen.
Copyright 2022: Lessons from a Spider: Sandra Stein: All Rights Reserved