Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.(Isaiah 41:10)
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:17-18)
Last Friday as I was driving my car to the shops to do my weekly shopping I noticed, as I looked in my wing mirror, that a spider had made a web between my wing mirror and the driver’s door. The spider was itself resting in the middle of the web. My use of the word resting might imply that the spider was taking a nap, in fact the spider was working very hard in order to stay attached to the middle of the web. For at the moment when I noticed the spider on its web I was driving at about 50mph and the web was being blown by the force of the wind passing down the side of the car. The spider appeared to be clinging on with all its might to the web.
As I journeyed further on the speed limit changed and so I slowed the car down, as I did I saw the spider take its opportunity to get somewhere a little safer. I watched (I was now stationary at a junction) as the spider sped across the web and climbed in behind the wing mirror itself to the safety of the holder. And earlier last week, I noticed, that however many times I cleaned the spider’s webs off the back of my car, another web would appear, beautifully constructed and ready to catch any unsuspecting passing flies.
Now I am aware that lots of people have a real fear of spiders, one of my brothers is known to get his children to remove spiders from their bathroom as he will not go near them. But I feel we have some lessons that we can learn from the spider. Firstly they are tenacious, they don’t give up. Many of us will have grown up with the nursery rhyme Incy Wincy Spider who kept climbing up the spout regardless of how many times the rain washed him out. They are creative, their webs are quite beautiful, especially when covered in dew or an early morning frost and the sun shines through them. They seek safety when they need to but are ready to stand still holding on to their web when needed. They rely on the strength of their web, holding fast onto it, knowing that it is strong enough to hold them.
We have a lot of spiders in and around our house and I am not best pleased when I walk through one of their webs and it gets all in my hair. But they are one of God’s creatures, they are tenacious, creative and ready to hold firm in times of trouble and if something as small as a spider knows how to do that then surely so can we.
Lord, help me to hold on to you in times of trouble, to never give up and to use the creative powers that you have given me to your glory.