A gift was intricately made visible on our deck for me this morning, and the evidence of that gift taught me a lesson worth sharing.
As I stated in an earlier post, I am not fond of spiders, especially those arachnids who find their way into my house. Unlike my oldest daughter, I don’t freak out and scream hysterically unless they startle me.
Awhile back, we were being assaulted by those eight-legged creatures inside the house, but hubby managed to put down some kind of “spider barrier,” so they’ve stayed outside where they belong!
This past weekend since the weather cooperated and produced a fairly warm and sunny day, hubby and I awakened early on Saturday and decided to finally crack open the gallons of paint that have been taking up residence in our garage for over two months. Our family room needed a new paint job, and since we could open the windows and French door to ventilate the room, we scurried to move furniture and get prepared to wield the paint roller and brushes.
Of course, this also required much heavy-duty cleaning also to be accomplished, including washing the windows. When I first opened them, I was assaulted by scads of cobwebs and an assortment of dead insects in between the glass panes and the outdoor window screens. Yeah, gross! But you know what they say, a good bug is a dead bug.
As I was tipping in a window to clean the outside of it, a live spider dangled from nowhere causing me to give a little shriek, but I just smashed him with my Windex-laden paper towel. I didn’t give the spiders another thought until this morning. You know, out of sight, out of mind.
Last night the temperature dropped significantly and this morning as I peeked out our shiny, sparkling windows, I noticed there was a heavy layer of frost on the ground. Our window thermometer revealed it was 32 degrees, shivering weather!
Perched at the kitchen table, I relished my hot cup of tea and waited for hubby to transport me to work (he’s driving my car while his is in the repair shop). I glanced again out my squeaky clean windows. And that’s when I saw it – the gift the spiders spun for me.
Strands of spider webs, coated with thick frost, were laced across the deck banister and from post to post. They appeared snowy white with their icy coats against the wood of the deck and looked exactly like strands of cord or string strewn hither and yon. I was intrigued enough to brave the chill without a jacket and snap a few pictures.
And that’s when God spoke to my visual brain as He so often does. I immediately thought of this scripture from the Bible: “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” ~ Ecclesiastes 4:12.
All day, even at work, I mulled over this passage in Ecclesiastes. There’s more to it as you can see: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be over powered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Chapter 4:9-12)
This passage reminds us of the advantages of belonging to a group of fellow believers (the body of Christ), how we can support one another, work together to further God’s kingdom, and encourage one another. Being bound together in Christian love can be compared to the three cords (one for each of the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) woven together, strong and steadfast.
That’s what my fellow believers in Christ are to me – my dearest friends. I’ve been blessed with strong sisters in Christ most of my life and for that I am thankful. No matter where my family has roamed over the years, God has always provided faithful friends.
Some of you, even though we no longer see each other because we live in different areas of the country, read my blog. I need to let you know what a source of joy your continued friendship is to me.
Others of you are friends I’ve known for most of my life, tried and true friends. You have always been there for me, and for that I am most grateful. Still others are new friends who have brought new perspective and wonder to my life. Some of you are my family, my closest friends of all.
In this season of thankfulness, God showed me through the viewing of frost-encased strings of spider web that you all are such a treasure. You are the kind of friends that remind me of this Shakespearean quote from Hamlet – “Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried. Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel.”
My friends, you who have stood the test of time and those who have proven so very worthy (whose “adoption has been tried”), we have been bound together with love, powerful as a three-stranded cord. I hope you all know that I am “grappling” (tying and securing) you to my soul with those strong, unbreakable cords as durable as “hoops of steel.”
Who would have thought that God would use those spiders, pesky to me but created by Him, to unfold this truth to me? Now, I have to be thankful for spiders!