The Year of the Spider

It might be the year of the spider. It seems spiders are fairly prolific this year. I read one story about a snake that got caught in a black widow spider’s web and was killed. Wow. I don’t like spiders. I know they eat lots of bugs that I also don’t care for, but all those legs… shudder.

I’ve had lots of spiders in my yard and in my basement this year. Big, ugly spiders. There are so many large creepy webs on my house and in my yard, it’s beginning to look a little Halloweeny around here.

Experts say we’re not supposed to kill them. Phooey. I kill them, but it doesn’t matter. There’s always more. I read somewhere that we are never no more than five feet away from a spider at any time….

Made you look around, didn’t I?

Did you check under your chair?

It’s probably not fair to lump spiders in with sin, but it seems a logical leap given their nasty appearance. Do you ever feel as if you get one sin under control, only to have another one rear its ugly head? You can nip one in the bud, but there’s two more just around the corner to taunt you. We can begin to wonder why we even try.

Except we do. And we should. The Bible tells us outright that in this life there will be trouble. It says that very thing in John 16:33. Some translations call it trials and tribulation. But that just means trouble, and Jesus went on to say then that he came to overcome this world and its troubles. There’s our reason to keep on fighting the sin that ensnares us. With Jesus, we are over comers!

1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.”  We often think the sin that tries to trip us up is unique to us, but this verse says otherwise. We think our situation is different. Our fight against our sin is special. It’s not. There are no new sins under the sun. Oh, they may dress up in new clothes, but underneath, they are the same old sins coming at us again.

Verse 13 goes on to say that God is faithful, and that he won’t let the sin that tries to trip us up succeed. He always provides a means of escape.

Have you ever walked into a spider web? It’s an everyday occurrence at my house right now. You walk into it and immediately you know what’s happened. You feel its stickiness on you, suddenly you start flailing like a maniac, and brushing away potential spiders. You just KNOW one is on you.

Wouldn’t it be great if we treated sin the same way? We often know when we’ve walked into it. It’s sticky. But we often don’t choose to react immediately like we do when we are caught in a spider web. We tend to wait a while. We think we can handle sin’s effects on our lives. We know better.

 Hebrews 12:1-2 suggests this:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”

When we feel the sticky grip of sin begin to ensnare us, we need to react immediately, much like we do with those spider webs. We need to fling the sin off of us, and run like a mad person towards Jesus.

I won’t likely rid my yard or my house of all its spiders, killing them one at a time, but I will continue trying. I won’t rid my world of the temptations that come at me to do me harm and inhibit my race, but I won’t give up the fight. There is a holy cloud of witnesses who are watching me, and they are cheering me on. They are cheering you on, too.

And when you get tired of running and fighting remember this. Remember Christ, who now sits at God’s right hand, endured such extreme opposition and he understands. He understands trials and temptations.

Keep running. Don’t lose heart. Keep running. Don’t be weary. Keep running.

So what do you think?

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