I’m taking a risk here… will the photos of spiders prevent people looking at this post? Halloween last night- pumpkins lit up, fake webs, ghoulish costumes (and lots of little kids having fun and getting sweets).
Halloween and spiders have something in common. They can frighten us. Well, there is important information we need to know about what they represent. Scary stuff and Death are two important subjects we don’t talk about much. Halloween parties can take some of the sting out of sensitive and frightening topics: but it can be overdone, and become too scary! (The big emphasis on Halloween costumes has come over from the USA and I think it can be overdone.) Did you know, from the Middle Ages, builders of castles and cathedrals adorned them with gargoyles in order to scare away evil and prevent the devil entering. Same principle.
Historically, Halloween is a weekend when Christians have celebrated the triumph of Christ over death- and Sunday is “All Hallows Day” when we remember with thanks all those we have loved and lost. The assurance we hold is that Death itself is NOT the final ending. Perhaps we should take a little time today to give thanks for the lives of those special ones we miss and still grieve over.
Spiders are scary (to many people). They are small, fast, creepy and look strange & alarming! I woke up once to see a large black wolf-spider on my pillow, an inch from my nose, and walking away from my face… Ugh!!! Their habit of building cobwebs has been responsible for loads of humans suddenly doing intense aerobic exercise as we try and get rid of that stuff all over our face!
But most spiders are harmless to humans, and won’t or can’t bite us (mostly). A few, like the Black Widow and tarantula can give a nasty bite- and I’m told Australia has a few doozies– but we still have a strong reaction to all spiders.
Experts tell us that spiders do an amazing job of pest control, including chomping enormous numbers of mosquitoes. I am all in favour of that. Go spiders!
Dare I suggest that if we take a closer look we might find how wonderful they are? Consider their ability to manufacture such fine, tough silk. Enormously strong. The engineering ability of a spider to design and built those webs with such precision. Now, I do agree with all those who say that’s fine when it’s not in my house…
Rather like using Halloween masks, our fright needs to be faced in a “safe” way. Survival instincts kick in whenever there is a risk of pain or death, the inner alarm system goes off and we respond to the perceived threat. There are scary things in the world. We are afraid.
We can scare fear away by facing the scary. Death need have no power over us; Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead, and we live in Him. Spiders might be creepy, and you may never “like” them, but they do an amazing job for us controlling the populations of flies, midges, mosquitoes and the like. See, spiders have their good side too.
Fear, out of control, is cripplingly destructive. But we don’t have to live in fear. God doesn’t play “Trick or Treat” on us. God is love. And if you don’t want to look at the spiders, read this instead: 1 John 4:18 (Message) There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.
God is forming us with love. Out with the ghouls, and fill your soul with love instead of fear.