Daily Gratitude Year 4- Day 255: Today, I am grateful for a lesson from a spider.
I shot this photo on Friday night out our back door. Ryan (one of my boys... by love and not birth) and I watched him spin and labor. Others... who will remain nameless... wanted nothing to do with him. They missed quite a show.
Many years ago, I chaperoned a field trip for our son's class. I don't really remember where we went, but I will never forget the conversation with another Mom on the bus. She told me a story I will never forget.
Somehow on the field trip, spider's came up in conversation. I am not arachnophobic. In fact, I find them fascinating creatures. I don't understand them, but I can appreciate them because they trap and eat other bugs. They have their purpose and their place. I don't want to make one a pet, but I do not live in fear of spiders and snakes (mice are another story). Back to the story...
My new friend, Deb, told me that they had recently returned to the area after living in another state. She liked where they were living. She had her house settled. (We women tend to need to nest. Our creator built that into our differences from our men.) Every time she seemed to be "at home"... they were making another move or another change. She felt frustrated. Who wouldn't?
The move back to colder weather and other uncertainties surrounding the move, had her praying and trying hard to see God in the middle of the moments that felt like madness. Guess what? He was there. She looked up and saw a spider working her web.
She felt the Lord asking her to look at the beauty... the intricacies... and the purpose of the web. Delicate...yet strong. Mesmerizing and full of wonder. It was the spider's home. Her food source. Her place of rest. It was her masterpiece. Then, a human, a strong wind or another force would come and destroy the home she had worked so hard to build.Sometimes by accident. Sometimes on purpose. Home would be gone in an instant.
Does the spider cry or quit? No...she just begins to spin again.
Does she lessen the quality on the next web? No... she gives it her all.
Does the spider long for an easier life? No...she just keeps spinning.
A spider's web is easily destroyed... but God created her to keep going. High winds and human hands will come and go, but she will continue to do what she was designed to do. I looked for scriptures on spiders...and I found one!
A spider's web does not endure. Our God endures forever. Our homes and the things we tend to "lean on" and "depend on" can be gone in a heartbeat. The hope of the godless shall perish. We are instructed to not forget God. He wants us to love Him...and to love each other.
On September 11th...15 years ago...the Twin Towers fell. Gone in an instant was an icon that symbolized wealth and power. It was an act of terrorism. Lives were lost. Others sacrificed their lives to save others. There were heroes on the ground, in the towers and on the planes. as well.
When evil strikes... love rises up to face the adversity. Love always wins. Lives were lost, yes... but many were saved. The countless tales of people not at work, late to work, sick, flat tires, dentist appointments, missed flights, etc... are a reminder that even when God seems far away...his hand is quietly moving. So many people had their plans for that day strangely interrupted... and what felt disastrous at the time, was really God's deliverance.
For a season...a nation..we returned to God and cried out for His help. Then...we turned away. We can love our country, our jobs and our homes... but this world is not our home. We need to just keep at the business of looking for Him, loving Him with a wild abandon... and learning to love our neighbors... all of them.
My house...my job... my stuff... are just stuff. I need to be more spider-like and just keep determinedly spinning a web that demonstrates a love for God and a love for those around me.
From that day forward, Deb inspired me to see a spider with different eyes. Today, 15 years after 9/11/2001 we see some other things differently. Are we a nation who remembers God...or one who has forgotten.
I remember the uncertainty of the nation in the days that followed. Today, I know there is uncertainty as we look at changes in leadership. You know I try to NOT make gratitude political. We can pray for guidance and wisdom... and for divine intervention. Our God is greater than our circumstance. My hope is in Christ.
Today, I am grateful for a lesson from a spider.