Gary shared the happy news with me last night after he came in from his daily stroll around the yard with Jackson and his check on the garden. We have a tomato!! Yes – A tomato! But believe me, in this dismal tomato year even one tomato is cause for excitement. And so this morning as I watered the front flower beds I was anticipating my time with my veggies and getting to pick our lone tomato, which I would share with Gary tonight at supper.
Soon I was in the vegetable garden, looking and searching for our surprise tomato. Which plant had Gary said it hung upon? This one? No. Must be the next one. Funny how they can hide from view so easily. I was so engrossed in finding our tomato and so happy when I finally saw it that I very nearly walked right into a spider web. Spiders and their webs are the one thing that will run me out of a garden – even more than a snake, believe it or not! In fact, Gary has given me a piece of wooden plank that I call my “spider stick.” I can wave it in front of me as I work in the garden when the plants are becoming tall and bushy, knocking down webs and sometimes squishing the spider that lives there. I look pretty weird to my neighbors, I’m sure, but it works. However, no thought of spiders or webs entered my mind this morning because I was completely focused on this tomato delight that awaited me. What a close call that was, I thought, as I backed up and then looked for the unseen spider. Later as I sprayed water on our thirsty garden, the gentle spray from the water highlighted the web and the little hiding spider ran out to see what was happening. Now I know where that web is and can avoid it, or perhaps destroy it.
Sometimes in my life I become so engaged in heading a certain direction or accomplishing a certain task that I become unaware of the dangers around me. My life can become so busy in the doing of tasks that I become lazy in being the woman that God wants me to be. It’s easy to slack off on my quiet time with the Lord, for one thing, and if I’m not listening to Him speak through His Word and not praying my heart to Him then I am in serious trouble. I run a great risk of becoming entangled in the web of self-importance, pride, or discouragement. At times the tasks that we all undertake are good or pleasurable or even productive. But do they keep us from time with the Lord or from fellowshipping and worshipping with our church family? Are we so engrossed in our activities and busyness that we forget to be watching for the one who seeks to devour us? Paul told the Ephesian believers to “be on the alert” and to “stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” And just as the gentle water revealed the spider web and the spider, the water of God’s Word will reveal to us the schemes of Satan and the webs that he weaves in order to entrap us. But we have to be reading and listening, arming ourselves with God’s power, and walking with our heads up and our eyes alert for the webs that are all around us. I never imagined that I would be thankful for the spider and the web in our garden today, but I am thankful for the lesson that God taught me using one of His scary creatures!