My house is full of spiders. Granted, it’s not as bad this year as it’s been in previous years, but it’s still pretty bad. I snapped this cell phone shot of a wolf spider who was living in my bathroom cabinet.
Believe it or not, I almost left him alone because wolf spiders are the natural enemies of brown recluses, one of the most poisonous spiders ever. And my house is loaded with brown recluses. Seriously. I have a ton of them. But they are recluses for a reason and usually run away .
In any case, the wolf spider didn’t make it. But in case you’re wondering what this has to do with anything, I was sitting at the computer in my hotel in Bellevue, Washington, and a spider came crawling down the wall. And I’m pretty positive that it was a brown recluse. At least, it looked like one, and it behaved like one.
And I couldn’t help but laugh because the rainy, cold Pacific Northwest was the last place I thought I’d find another brown recluse. I usually only find them in the hot, dryness of summer in Kansas.
But it made me think about something. When I see a spider now, I squash them. Or I spray them. Or (in some rare cases) I leave them alone. But I made the decision years ago on how to handle them and have taught myself through years of experience how to deal with them. So whenever a see a spider, I know what to do.
Now what if I hadn’t done that? What if I hadn’t trained myself how to handle spiders? I’d go running and screaming every time I saw one, no matter where I went. So I’d run and scream at home, and I’d run and scream at my hotel in Seattle. The spiders aren’t going to change. There are spiders everywhere. But how I respond to them can.
It’s just like troubles in our lives. We all have them. They just look different. But when you run away from them, you’re just going to find the same problem farther down the road. You can’t escape them. You have to learn how to face them.
Today’s verse is Lamentations 3:30.
Let them turn the other cheek to those who strike them
and accept the insults of their enemies.
Dealing with people who don’t like you can be really difficult. And I’m not saying to fall down and allow people to beat you up. That’s not the point.
Sometimes, it’s better to be the one who backs off. Sometimes, it’s better to be humble. Sometimes, it’s better to be the one who takes it on the jaw.
As Christ-followers, we’re strong enough to take it. God gives us the strength to go through anything. And we need to remember that in this life, we’re going to have trouble. We aren’t going to find the perfect solution to living on this Earth because this isn’t our home. And if we keep packing up and moving on to every new situation that comes our way, we won’t learn the lesson God is trying to teach us through the struggles He has allowed into our path.
You’ve heard that the grass is always greener on the other side? It’s not. It’s the same grass. It’s just your perspective on it. Grass is grass wherever you go, and it’s subject to the same problems and difficulties everywhere.
So if you don’t learn how to handle the problems you’re facing today, you won’t know what do to when the same problems pop up a few miles down the road.
So stop running. Face your troubles head on. Let God help you, let Him make you strong, and let Him show you what you need to learn.
Spiders come in every shape and size, but they all squash the same. Learn how to deal with the small ones, and the big ones won’t be that scary.