As I turned the toilet paper roll that morning, a giant Huntsman spider leaped out of the cardboard middle and raced up the tile wall. I shrieked (of COURSE!) and took note that Treavor wasn't around to save me as he usually does. I ran into the kitchen, grabbed the mop and re-entered the bathroom with murder in mind.
If you didn't click on the link above, I need to tell you that this guy was the size of my hand, hairy, and eerily quick-paced. These types of spiders move like little crabs, side-to-side, and FAST! But, this wasn't my first rodeo...the first week in our new house here in the country, we encountered this guy in the same bathroom:
|One half of the spider's body|
|The other half - with creepy head attached.|
Back to the story...after more shrieking, numerous strikes from my mop, and a ceiling tile almost falling down, I had my victory. The spider curled up in defeat, and I was joyous! As he took a spin in the toilet bowl and exited the house, I shouted "YES!" exuberantly to the air and enjoyed the sweet taste of triumph over my fears and over the disturbed peace that had pervaded my morning up to that fateful point.
There is a point to this story, if not to just make you wish you didn't live with us and our over sized spidery housemates...
Today, I observed this little guy jumping and skipping over my window pane:
He, as opposed the the gigantic Huntsman spider, was about 1/2 inch large. He does not bother me. I am sure that he has frequented my piles of dirty laundry, my food cabinet, my sneakers, and has probably tucked himself under our bed covers. When these pop out from behind things, I do not scream and shout and pray in tongues, I do not run for the mop and ask God for the agility to give it an early death. He is small, and I feel so much bigger than him.
Even though the Huntsman spiders that monthly give me a scare and the jumping spiders that inhabit my windowsills eat their fair share of insects, I favor one over the other. I know there are fewer flies, mosquitoes and creepy-crawlies in my house because of them. They are both "beneficial" and not a danger to me...and even could be considered a "help" to my life. But, one is welcome, while the other is shunned and obliterated. Why is that?
Though I don't usually think deeply about Arachnids, I am reminded of their similarity to trials in my life. As long as I am not too inconvenienced or threatened, I don't mind a little trial here and there.
The verse from James 1:2 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds..."
...seems do-able, right? I don't mind annoying or needy people if I encounter them once a week on my trip to the store. I can easily forget them when I walk away. Or, if I endure the trial of a mild cold or headache - it is gone tomorrow or in a few days.
But, what about a needy person who LIVES with me. I can think of three little people right now... ;)
What about a chronic illness? A financial debt that seems insurmountable? A car that breaks down on the way to an important meeting? Do we find it so easy to "consider it pure joy" then?
Do we treat trials like these (and there are countless more) as something to strike at and drive from our homes or our lives? Even if enduring them is...dare I say...beneficial?
Today, I am asking God to remind me, and everyone reading, about the mystery of joyfully persevering through trials - big or small. If you want to read more about this little nugget of biblical wisdom, click here.