Monday, March 13, 2017

Spiritual Encouragement from a Spider



I will be like the dew to Israel; 
He will blossom like the lily, 
And he will take root like the cedars of Lebanon. 
His shoots will sprout, 
And his beauty will be like the olive tree
 And his fragrance like the cedars of Lebanon.…
Hosea 14:5

Years ago we were heading out early one morning from our hotel near Killington, Vermont, on our way toward our favorite town, Woodstock.  The sun was rising higher in the sky as we descended the tall mountain into a valley.  Looking to the left we saw the most amazing sight - trees laced with spiderwebs, their intricate designs magnified by shiny dew drops, courtesy of the sun rays reflecting their own light through the prisms of water, creating an amazing masterpiece of artwork, there in an otherwise unremarkable field.

Anyone who knows me can tell you I don't like spiders!  Give me a snake any day.  lol.  Now that's not to say I won't jump sky high if I'm walking along and happen upon a snake, but they don't seem to strike the same fear in me as spiders.  There is just something about spiders that gives me the creeps.

Yet I have always found it fascinating to observe, from a safe distance, of course, spiders making their intricate orb webs.   

We usually have a resident spider on our deck most of the summer that just gets fatter and fatter sampling all the tasty morsels he has captured in his sticky web.  

But to me, what's even more fascinating, is to see a web get demolished in a summer evening thunderstorm, only to wake up the next day and find an even bigger, more intricate web where the old one used to be.  That spider must have worked all night creating the new web.  Of course he did! Otherwise, he wouldn't have the means to catch a steady supply of food for the next day.  I have watched this cycle repeated many times over a summer when gusty thunderstorms can be frequent.  Yet the spider maintains his diligence to ensure his nourishment.

We could learn a thing or two from spiderwebs and their creators.  

Diligence in preparing for that which sustains you is critical to a healthy spiritual life.

Like the spider who weaves his web every night, repairing or recreating that which was destroyed during the day, every evening we too must repair and reclaim that which was broken during the day. We do so by coming to the Word of God to rest in the presence of our Great Redeemer, who redeems every circumstance that touches our lives daily. 

For those of you who have never tried doing your Bible reading in the evening, I would like to encourage you to give it a try.  I realize this goes against the grain of the traditionally recommended morning devotions, but after you hear of my own experience with nighttime Bible reading, you might feel compelled to give it a try.  :-)

Let me first say I am in no way discounting morning Bible reading.  I truly wish that I was wired in such a way to effectively do my Bible reading in the morning.  And believe me, I have tried!  I had a friend once tell me that before her feet hit the floor in the morning, she would spend time in the Word.  So I followed her example, even setting my alarm to wake up earlier to read from my Bible.  But I found that I would start to fall back to sleep as I was reading.  Then a season in my life opened up where I had entire afternoons to spend time in the Word of God - an amazing blessing.  Last year, due to the hecticness of my life, I returned to an early morning Bible time.  But this time, I sat up in bed so that I wouldn't fall back to sleep, and although I indeed stayed awake, I was finding that I just didn't retain what I read.  If that wasn't bad enough, because of how hectic my life was, my mind would wander and I'd start thinking of all the things I had to do throughout the day, essentially becoming stressed while trying to comprehend what I was reading in the Bible.  Yeah, I'm special like that.  lol.  

This past October, I started doing my Bible reading in the evening before I settle down to unwind and watch a little TV.  For me, that could be anywhere from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.  And I must say, I have NEVER experienced such revelations studying the Word as I have reading my Bible in the evening.  Familiar passages that I have read countless times over the years are jumping out at me like never before with a clarity that is stunning.  Just last night I literally exclaimed out loud, "Wow!  I can't believe how much I am learning by doing my Bible time in the evening!"  

I recently read the following excerpt from the January 30th's portion of Streams in the Desert and it really resonated with me due to my own recent discovery of how fruitful it is to have an extended Bible time in the evening.


"Quietness and absorption bring the dew. At night when the leaf and blade are still, the vegetable pores are open to receive the refreshing and invigorating bath; so spiritual dew comes from quiet lingering in the Master's presence. Get still before Him. Haste will prevent your receiving the dew."  --Dr. Pardington

"Dew will never gather while there is either heat or wind. The temperature must fall, and the wind cease, and the air come to a point of coolness and rest--absolute rest, so to speak--before it can yield up its invisible particles of moisture to bedew either herb or flower. So the grace of God does not come forth to rest the soul of man until the still point is fairly and fully reached.

Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease:
Take from our souls the strain and stress;
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.

Breathe through the pulses of desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, its beats expire:
Speak through the earthquake, wind and fire,
O still small voice of calm!"

In the evening, all my striving ceases for the day.  I am getting ready to retire for the night.  There is nothing pressing on my mind that needs my attention - only sleep awaits.  I believe for me, personally, this is why my nighttime Bible reading experience has been so profound...  

...this spiritual dew has truly saturated me with a richness from the Word like none I've experienced at any other time  in my Christian walk.  Why?  Because I have been truly still before the Lord.  His dew drops settling over my spirit, bathing me in the light of His Word.

Like the spider who weaves His web in the evening, when we spend time in God's Word every night, we are weaving an intricately designed masterpiece with Words that repair our own personal circumstances and sinful bent, bringing with them the light and love of Christ that will reflect like diamonds, in the morning's light, the spiritual dew that rested upon us the evening before...

And all will see upon our countenance the radiance of the Son and evidences of the web of the Word that nourishes and sustains us.


You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me Grace, Testimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday, Reflect His Love and Glory  Words of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home Fridays, Faith 'N FriendsTGI SaturdaysSitting Among Friends Encourage Me Monday Words with Winter Essential FridaysSo Much at Home Family, Friendship & Faith House to Home  ,Wonderful Wednesday , Monday of Many BlessingsLiteracy Musings Mondays,Imparting GraceSHINE Blog Hop Dance with JesusGive Me GraceBooknificent Thursdays UNITE Cozy Reading SpotMaking Your Home Sing Monday Social Butterfly Sundays  Let Us Grow Small Wonder Link-up Winsome Wednesday Growing in Grace Thursday After My CoffeeRewind Friday Fresh Market Friday Moments of Hope Wonderful Wednesdays Christian Blogger Link-Up Tea & Word Tuesday Heart Encouragement Thursday Hearts for Home Messy Marriage Link-up Friday at the Fire Station Link-up Tune In Thursday







28 comments:

  1. We, too, have a resident spider on our front porch. Sometimes the web is so large and beautiful as the sun shine on it. Webs are fascinating.

    I like your idea of reading the Bible in the evening. Usually I read it just before going to sleep, but sometimes I'm just too sleepy to comprehend much. The idea of reading a little earlier before doing something to unwind sounds like it just might work for me. Your words inspire me to try it. Blessings to you, Karen! I'm your neighbor at #InspireMeMonday.

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    1. Gayl, Thank you so much for sharing about your own Bible reading experience.

      Praising God you found this post inspiring. :-)

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  2. Oh, the lessons you have learned from the spider, my friend! Just beautiful thoughts God has given you. I couldn't agree with you more about the evenings spent with God. It is so wonderful when we find our own preferred time of day to worship Him and allow His Spirit to permeate our being. I am thankful He will meet with us anytime, and He does not expect or ask us to conform to anyone else's mold. He is an individual God. Praise His name! Oh, I enjoyed reading this tonight...it was so edifying and food to my soul. He so often teaches me through what He is teaching you, my dear, precious friend. I love and appreciate you dearly.

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    1. Dear Cheryl, Amen! We are all created uniquely, but in that uniqueness we are all accomplishing the Work He has set aside for us to do for His Glory.

      Praising God that you were edified and nourished by this post, and that we are indeed Growing Together in the Grace and Knowledge of our Lord Jesus. Amen! Amen!

      You bless me so much dear friend. Sending you much love and gratitude.

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  3. Diligence does keep me sane. I look forward to looking for the web in my day!

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    1. Laura, Indeed! And Amen!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. :-)

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  4. Stillness illudes me unless it's morning with coffee. Either way, though, is the grace and gifting of God, thank goodness!

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    1. Sue, Praising God that He meets you in the morning. :-)

      Amen!

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  5. Diligence and purposeful pursuit are character qualities to be encouraged and cultivated. Especially in a world that seems to be drifting far from the value of hard work and effort. Thanks for focusing us in on the lesson from a spider! I'm going to remember it this summer when they show up on our deck!

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    1. Karen, Very well said! Thank you for sharing in the conversation.

      You are welcome.

      :-)

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  6. Every spring/summer, I make sure to look for black widow spider webs which are ugly, so I can kill the spiders! Love garden spider webs - I will leave those alone. ;)

    My bible study time has changed over the years, depending on the life stages of my kids. I've learned to be flexible, but I mostly do it in the afternoon.

    Thanks for linking up with Literacy Musing Monday.

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    1. Brandi, Oh my! My only experience with the "potential" for black widows was at my friends house in Albuquerque when they told me to check the bottom of the chair before sitting. :-O lol.

      Yes, same here. But indeed God meets us whenever we seek Him. :-)

      You are welcome.

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  7. So nice to meet another "non-morning Bible reader, spider-hater" :-) I appreciate the insight into the benefits of evening Scripture reading, too. As you mentioned, I definitely see the benefits of morning study, but after so many years of hearing that, it's nice to see the other side, too. Morning or night...I think the key is to make it a habit (that's where I still struggle). Isn't God good and kind to offer us so many lessons in the world around us. I feel like we miss so much teaching from him simply for lack of looking!

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    1. Susan, Lol. Nice to meet you too!

      Thanks for sharing your own thoughts on evening Bible reading. I appreciate it!

      One of the things that has helped me with forming a habit of daily Bible reading is using a 365 day devotional. I am currently using Streams in the Desert. I find it keeps me accountable.

      Indeed!

      Thanks so much for stopping by. :-)

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  8. Karen, congratulations on being featured at LMM today! This is just a lovely piece in every way!

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    1. Michele, Thank you!

      And thank you for your very kind words. :-)

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  9. I'm visiting from Literary Musing Monday. We had a spider like that outside the glass door leading to our deck one time. He didn't mind at all if we watched from the other side of the glass as he worked on his web or wrapped his food for later. It was fascinating - though, like you, I would not have wanted him inside or in my pathway.

    I enjoyed hearing of your experiences with Bible reading. Early morning works best for me, before the day's events start and my mind gets cluttered, but I get frustrated with those who declare that's the only time anyone should read the Bible. Each of us is so different, between the way our own brains work, plus families and schedules, that we each have to find what works best for us. I'm glad you did!

    I love that hymn, and the insights on what makes for dew were enlightening.

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    1. Barbara, Thank you so much for sharing your own spider observations and joining in the conversation on our time in the Word.

      Your words have blessed me. :-)

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  10. Hi, I meant to tell you the news that I selected your post to feature on the #LMMLinkup this week. I see other #LMMLinkup participants beat me. I really loved your post. It is very encouraging. I am going to try and start reading every night before I go bed in addition to my evening prayers. Thank you for the encouragement I received reading this post.

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    1. Mary, Thank you!! I am humbled and honored to be featured at LMM's Link up.

      I'm glad you found encouragement here.

      Blessings,

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  11. Congratulations on being featured at LMM linkup! Spiders creep me out too. But what a valuable connection you have made! I agree that different people have different times of the day to connect with God in different seasons of life. But I value your thoughts that every night we are supposed to surrender ourselves to Him and restore our relationship with God and spend time in thanksgiving and reconciliation. It is a great way to end the day. Thanks for your valuable writing!

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    1. Alice, Thank you!

      I appreciate so much your words here. Thank you for sharing.

      And thank you for your sweet encouragement!

      Blessings.

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  12. I like your idea of evening reading, and am tucking it away for a future season of life. When I was a brand new mother and couldn't quite get myself in order in the morning because of the interrupted night hours, a lady who was not impressed with the concept of gentleness was over to pick up an item from my house. While there she overheard a young newlywed from across the street bemoaning her terrible lot in life as now she could no longer study her Bible for the 3 hours a day she felt was a minimum ( no lie, something about numerology & drawing closer to God). After I patiently heard the complaint, solaced her while cleaning baby puke off myself, and said goodbye, this dear, cranky woman looked at me, rolled her eyes and gave me the best advice ever. "Honey, you don't even have time to shower in the morning, don't worry about it. Just give God the best minutes of your day, and you'll be like that tree in the Psalms." I now have seven children and this is the formula that is working well for me. If the scheduled time is not happening that day, I make like a treasure hunt seeking the best moments to sneak away into His presence.

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    1. Mammasita, Thank you so much for sharing this story. What a perfect addition to this blog post! Indeed, giving God the best minutes of our day.

      Your comment has blessed me. Thanks for stopping by.

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  13. Thanks for sharing this encouragement at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com this week!
    Tina

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  14. Thank you for this! I totally relate to your evening bible readings. The greatest growth in my Christian walk was from my nightly bible readings. I know most people say to have your morning devotion, and I still try when I can, but like you in the morning I feel rushed and unfocused on all the things I need to be doing for the day. In the evening I feel like I can relax and truly focus on God's word. Thanks for sharing at the Friday at the Fire Station link-up!
    Jen

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    1. Jen, You are very welcome! And thank you for sharing your own similar experience to mine! I am still in awe of how much I am growing in my time in the Word. It's like I'm a sponge soaking it all in! :-)

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

      You are welcome!

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