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Spiders and Flies

read Matthew 6:25-34

"Seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall also be given to you"  (Matthew 6:33)

The year is 1313. Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, is hiding out in a cave from  the English, who have destroyed his army in battle.  At  the cave's opening, a spider tries to build a web.  Robert  watches as the spider attempts to lay down a thread.  Six times the spider tries, six times the thread breaks.  Finally, on the seventh try, the thread holds.  Robert the Bruce is tremendously excited!   Six times the English have defeated him.  Surely the seventh time he will succeed!  He goes out and raises yet another army, and in the battle of Bannockburn in 1314  beats the English and drives them from Scotland.  But what of the spider, the source of Robert's inspiration?  She  merely grumbles to herself, "This dag-blasted wind keeps blowing away my thread, and I'm hungry!"

The hiker stops short, breathless with wonder.  Strung across the trail is the largest, most beautiful spider's web he has ever seen!  He examines it closely, awestruck at its workmanship.  Then, he carefully ducks under the web and continues on his way.  Back at the web, the spider gripes, " I'm sick and tired of building these tremendous webs just for a handful of scrawny flies!  Where are all the flies, anyway?"

Yet another spider strings his web next to the foul  pool of stinking sewage.  He smacks his lips in  anticipation of the feast, for the sewage is teeming with fly larvae!  Imagine his disappointment when  engineers clean up the sewage and restore the land to its natural state.

Most of us Christians are as focused on "practical things" as spiders are focused on  flies.  God glorifies Himself through our lives, but we are wholly unaware of His purposes.  We resent difficulties and shun challenges, unless they offer good prospects for catching more "flies".  When we pray, we merely ask God for more flies (or if we are the compassionate sort, we pray God will bless others with more "flies").

This is not to say that God wants to deprive Christians (or spiders) of their sustenance.  However, just as  the flies are incidental to the beauty and grace of the spider's web in our eyes, so our practical needs are incidental in the eyes of God.  He would much prefer that we focus entirely on His glory, truth, and beauty, and trust Him wholly for our daily "flies".  Only then may we step back and appreciate the "webs" which God calls  us to spin.

Prayer: Father, help us to see beyond our own needs and pleasures, that we may begin to understand  how You are accomplishing Your glorious purpose through us.

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Copyright © 2002 CrossPollen
Last Revised: January 4, 2002

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