“Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.”
–Psalms 1:1-3 (NLT)
We have all heard some variation of the spider and the fly story. But since I haven’t told you my version, please bear with me, and then we can walk through it together.
There was once a spider who pretended to be all alone, as he was a new arrival in town. But although the corners of his mouth drooped and he wore a long face, everyone knew all about him, and they weren’t fooled by his tricks. This spider was infamous for trapping unsuspecting victims in his web. Knowing that everyone listened for the latest bug alerts on KBUG, the spider listened carefully to his radio as well.
This spider had arrived in town early, in order to save a good spot in someone’s house. But one day when he had time on his hands, he began to lick his lips, thinking about how good a fat bug would taste right about now. Then he started pacing the floor, pondering about this. But the only thing that came to him was a big headake.
Then the spider had what he thought was a stroke of genius. He remembered the insect social that would be held that night to welcome newcomers. He sat down, putting his chin in his hands.
“I will befriend others who have just moved in, and have never seen me before,” he thought. “Then, when they don’t suspect a thing, I’ll pounce and trap them in my web!”
The spider arrived at the party early, and right from the start, he began to mill around. But there was a problem: most of the bugs he saw were familiar faces. Finally, he saw a fly that he hadn’t seen before. The spider pretended to be lonely, and he looked quite shy as he crossed the room. He spoke hesitantly to the fly.
“I am new here, and everything seems so big! I feel lost.”
“That’s funny!” the fly cried. “I’m new too! What’s your name?”
“Oh …” The spider pretended to lie and hung his head sadly. “I don’t have a name. I’m all alone, and no one cares about me. How about you?”
“My name’s Buzz, and you’re not alone any more. I’ll be your friend, and as of now, I’ll think of a name for you, because I care about you. Let’s see … what could it be? Oh! I have it! Your new name is Spencer.”
The spider smiled craftily. “Spencer the spider … I like it! I’ll have all the girls chasing me!”
Spencer and Buzz continued to strike up a friendship which, as you probably know, was quite unusual. Spiders and flies aren’t famous for getting along, after all. But although they seemed to be an unlikely pair, they went everywhere together, without giving it a second thought. After a few weeks, they even decided to share an apartment, and go into business together. They worked out a plan in which they drew upon each other’s strengths. Buzz was especially good at annoying people, so he was in charge of that department. While He flew around and distracted people, Spencer trapped any unsuspecting bugs in his web.
On their first night after work, Spencer hummed contentedly as he spun his web. Finally, he yawned.
“Hanging out with you is great! I’ve never had a friend like you, Buzz. Trying to get others to come to my website didn’t work, so I just gave up and stayed in my spider house. Now I’m no longer alone, and I even have a name!”
To make a long story short, their business ultimately went belly-up, and Spencer got more and more hungry. So one night, when Buzz was asleep and had his guard down, Spencer struck, and you can guess what happened next.
The story may be over, but please stick around. We need to look at the devil’s “buy now, pay later” plan, which is illustrated in my tale.
In many ways, our lives are often quite similar to Spencer and Buzz’s lives. Like Buzz, we sometimes let our guards down, and we don’t watch where we’re walking. The end result is that while we often blame God for the outcome, we fall into a trap of our own making, with which the Spencers of life have tantalized us. In other words, when I find myself in a scrape, I realize that I have often done much the same thing that Buzz did.
I think you’ll agree that getting close to Spencer was a big mistake for Buzz. But as if that wasn’t bad enough, Buzz became comfortable in Spencer’s presence. You and I do much the same thing when we don’t walk according to the plan that God has laid out, and we become too comfortable in the world. however, these challenges can be solved when we choose to filter our lives through God’s Word.
God says that we need to prayerfully search the scriptures before making initial moves on the road of life. In other words, we need to see if what we are doing lines up with His Word.
Instead, though, we may believe that God is some kind of cosmic killjoy, when He only has our best interests in mind. We humans go on our own way instead of following God’s plan.
Also, we may keep the wrong kind of company. If not the people we hang out with, we watch or listen to the wrong things. At these times, we inevitably let our guard down, and inch closer to the source of our trouble. We rationalize and tell ourselves that dabbling in this or that won’t hurt us. But we usually don’t stop there, as we actively partake more and more in what is being offered. Before you know it, we have fallen into Satan’s trap.
When we do fall, though, God grieves. He tells us lovingly, “My child, this could have all been avoided if you had paid attention to My Word. Walk in My ways, and instead of living for worldly pleasures, make the choice to live in My love.”
So instead of buying into Satan’s plan now and paying later, God is asking all of us to file for bankrupcy. He calls for us to allow Him to search our hearts. Once we understand that we have nothing to bring to the table, we realize in a new way what Christ has done for us. Confessing our shortcomings to a loving God brings peace. Lastly, the Bible says that there is no condemnation in Christ, so draw on your account which was paid in full by Jesus on the cross.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Tuesday night Bible study. These studies are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 6:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 313-209-8800. Our PIN is 8699032. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.