JANUARY 16, 2015
"Finally, grow powerful in union with the Lord, in union with his mighty strength!" Ephesians 6:10 (CJB)
My house is deep in the woods. When you live in the woods, you come face-to-face with all varieties of God’s creation. Most are the cute "Awww, look Mom!" species, while others are the gross "Ewww, kill it!" kind. For me, spiders fall in "Ewww!" category.
I am not a fan of the creepy crawlies. They love to take up residence in corners of my windows and spin webs across the carport. If I’m not careful, I might walk right through a web, taking it and the spider with me.
I was looking forward to window washing day so I could annihilate them and their homes. Using a big brush I soaped up the window and aimed the nozzle at a web, then pulled the handle with all my strength. The web held firm. I need more water pressure, I thought. After turning the pressure to its fullest, I sprayed again. Still nothing.
Closer. I need to be closer. I used a stepladder to get closer to the web. This tactic definitely got me wetter but did not bring down the web. It was strong and stubborn, unwilling to succumb to my pressure. While drying myself off, I had a spiritual encounter: I want faith like that spider web … a faith that can withstand pressure: low, high and nearby.
The strength and tenacity of the web intrigued me, so I researched the phenomenon and discovered three facts about spider webs.
Fact 1: Spider web is two words, not one. This is not spiritually relevant information — but good to know.
Fact 2: Tensile strength (TS) is defined as the maximum stress a material can withstand when stretched or pulled before breaking. The TS of spider silk is greater than the same weight of steel and has just as much, if not more, elasticity.
Spider silk is under investigation for potential use in bullet-proof vests and artificial tendons. How? That answer is above my pay-grade. But spiritually speaking, I want a faith that can withstand life’s pressures.
Fact 3: It is not uncommon for a spider web to be 20 times the size of the spider building it. I want a faith bigger than I am so when the storms come, I won’t be destroyed.
In a strong wind, I can bend but won’t be blown away.
My friend Michele’s faith is woven strong enough to withstand a series of trials. She survived cancer twice, only to have that followed by her father’s cancer diagnosis. Her faith remained strong as she watched her father fight fearlessly but eventually lose his battle. What could possibly come next?
Before Thanksgiving last year, she received unexpected news. Her cancer was back for the third time in four years. Her response? "I’m covered with peace. A deep, consuming, fearless peace. Why? I’ve been here before, in the middle of impossible situations. And every time — EVERY SINGLE TIME — my God has shown up. Fear is a waste in the face of such a Deliverer."
How does your faith withstand the pressures of life? The Bible promises we can "grow powerful in union with the Lord, in union with his mighty strength!" (Ephesians 6:10). Our faith can be bigger than we are, unwavering and able to withstand the harsh storms of life. What can we learn from a web weaver about this kind of strength?
A spider is dedicated to its purpose: building a strong web. It stays focused, spending hours weaving in a circular motion, keeping the silk tight from the inside out. We can build a strong faith by dedicating ourselves to the purpose of knowing God. This means spending time in His Word, staying focused on what it says and allowing its truth to strengthen us from the inside out. Making God’s Word the hub of our faith will keep us strong when the pressures of life try to bring us down.
I’m still not comfortable with spiders, but I do admire their tenacity to stay the course and build a strong home. That’s what I want … a strong home where the Lord will dwell.Yes indeed! I want faith like a spider web.
Lord, You have used Your small creatures to teach me something new. Help me build a faith like the spider builds a web. Strong and flexible, yet immovable. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Habakkuk 3:19, "The Lord GOD is my strength. He makes me like a deer that does not stumble so I can walk on the steep mountains." (NCV)
Colossians 3:16, "Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God." (NASB)
Looking for practical ways to start studying God’s Word? The One Year Chronological Bible and Trusting God for A Better Tomorrow: A Psalms Bible Study by Wendy Pope might be helpful resources for you to try.
Visit Wendy’s blog today for more discussion on building a stronger faith.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What are your thoughts about reading the Bible? Print a Bible reading schedule, tuck it in your Bible, and commit to reading the Bible every day in 2015. Watch your faith grow and your union with Lord become mighty!
© 2015 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105