Friday, September 19, 2014

Spiritual Cobwebs

I enjoy reading my Bible in the patio room that we added onto our house a few years ago. Usually before dawn each day, I am out there in my comfy chair with my coffee and Bible, ready to receive God’s Word to me for the day as I listen to the birds sing to Him. I rarely miss this morning quiet time with the Lord, and I always look forward to it.

This is so regular for me that, this morning, I was surprised to find a fairly complex network of spider webs attached to my Bible, intricately woven to the table about a foot away from it. I had left my Bible open, and this spider had used the entire length of the top of it to form a trap for the many bugs that inhabit the room. I was quite shocked by this, because I had that Bible in my lap, studying and reading, just about 18 hours previous. I’ve heard people joke around about folks who have cobwebs on their Bible, it’s been so long since they read, but that does not describe my habit. How did this spider web get here so quickly?

As I pondered this question, it occurred to me that the connection between me and my Father has lately been a little "cob webby," too.  Though I do read and pray often, I don’t sense His loving care as I have at other times in this recent journey. I have allowed frustration and pain to come between us. I have distanced myself from Him. Though I speak to Him and read His Word; hear sermons and enjoy wonderful fellowship with other believers, I am not occupying that place that is near to Him, and the sense of distance proves that.

My point here is that today, I was alerted to how quickly this can happen. Though I was in the Word just yesterday, praying, thanking and petitioning the Lord, as the day went on, perhaps I forgot Him, at least practically. As I searched for solutions to my problems, I left Him behind, and the builders of cobwebs—the world, the flesh, and the devil—got between us. I fixed my mind on my problems instead of on Him, and I reaped what I sowed—worry, fear, and a sleepless night. Wow, how quickly this happened!

But God is so good to show me these things. He uses His creation often to reveal my heart to me. Just as His parables in the Gospels pierced the hearts of those who were chosen, so He uses little spiders in my patio room to teach me about His character and mine. What a creative, loving God we serve!
It was easy for me to clean the spider web off my Bible, and I never did find the creature who was responsible for it. It will not necessarily be easy to close the gap between me and the Lord. It will require putting down stubborn pride, submitting to what is obviously His will for me, and trusting Him with my physical problems. I will have to do all these things every moment of every day until the Lord heals me or takes me home. Meanwhile, He is gracious and patient to wait while I learn and grow in Him. He is ready to forgive my stubbornness and draw me near to Him once more, as I…

…focus on Jesus, the source and goal of our faith. He saw the joy ahead of him, so he endured death on the cross and ignored the disgrace it brought him. Then he received the highest position in heaven, the one next to the throne of God. –Heb 12:2, God’s Word Translation