Spiders and Spiritual Help


“Grandma, there are huge spiders in here!”

Our six-year-old grandson, Hunter, called out from the living room, where he and his younger brother Marcus lay in sleeping bags on the floor. The boys were having a sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

Grandma hurried to his side and whispered words of comfort to calm his fears. In the dim predawn light coming through the front window, Hunter saw what he was sure was a spider lurking near the wall. My wife, Marie, helped him see that it was only the shadow of a toy abandoned there. Her soothing words helped Hunter settle securely into his sleeping bag, and he was soon asleep again.

As I listened to the whispered conversation from the living room that early morning, I lay in bed thinking how often we may see fearsome things in the shadows of our own lives. How often our Father rushes to our sides, whispering calming words to us through His Comforter! How kind He is to help us see that those fearsome things are not so terrible as they seem, because He has provided the way through His Son for us to overcome them.

I wondered, too, how often I do not call out for His help with real spiders in my life—spiritually venomous things of which I ought to be afraid—because I tell myself that I can handle them. And how often do I unknowingly need His help with spiritual spiders that I cannot see because they are too well hidden?

Like the rest of us, little Hunter will grow up to learn that real, living spiders are not always the terrible creatures they may seem to be.

But how many of us let imaginary spiders make us shrink from them day after day when there really is no need? And how many of us do not seek out the protection He so lovingly offers when we face real dangers in our lives?

Our grandson called out for help because he knew in his heart that it was near. For me, the lesson in that early-morning experience was a reminder that help is near when I need it, if I will call out in faith believing that it will come.

Illustration by Jennifer Tolman