Facing spiders

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From the desk of…

by Debora Bell, Lt. Colonel –

How has 2008 been treating you so far? Our calendar is filled with plans, hopes and dreams. We have reviews to do, conferences to attend, birthdays to celebrate, speaking engagements, and wonderful opportunities for fellowship. (It looks like we will be well acquainted with the security guards at the airport again this year). That doesn’t include keeping the work moving at the office.

Right now I am thinking of Little Miss Muffet, who sat down to enjoy a snack of curds and whey. In the poem, “along came a spider” and sat down beside her and frightened her away. No joke, as I sat to write the words of this article “along came” a black spider to sit down beside me. I crushed the spider, and it is now black mush.

This question occurs to me: Am I going to face this year like Miss Muffet, who, affected by her fear of the spider, ran away, or will I affect the spider?

First, let us consider Miss Muffet. I can relate to her fear. How about you? Do you ever have nightmares about spiders? Have you ever been chased out of a room by a huge spider? I have and neither experience is fun. There are places I won’t go because of spiders. We have a beautiful bush in our backyard that is like a canopy arch. We have to walk it under when we go to the carport. One night as we came home a spider the size of a quarter dropped down on me because I had not noticed its food-catching web. I now park in the front of the house. When Don and I come home from a night event, he has to go on the path before me in case one of our backyard friends decides to drop down again.

Next consider the spider. Today’s spider was crawling across my desk happily on its way to the next task or meal when a pink tissue propelled by a giant hand interrupted its life. It would seem I affected it more than it affected me!

In this article, spiders are metaphors for the scary things in our lives that can cause us to run away. So, why do I face up to some scary things and run from others?

As an officer in The Salvation Army, I am called to share the gospel message and win the world for Jesus’ sake. As a natural-born introvert, my heart rate increases and my knees knock and I want to run away when opportunities to share the good news “sit down beside me” or drop in my lap. I pray that God will bring divine appointments into my well-planned calendar; however, when they appear I rarely greet them with enthusiasm. While I have learned not to run from them, I need to learn to run toward them. I can do this when I remember to put on the armor of God and stand in the boldness of the authority he has given me. I can run toward the divine appointments when I keep my eyes on Jesus because then the spiders and other scary things are kept in perspective.

What are the spiders that cause you to want to run away? Are you willing to run toward the opportunities God will give you this year? A verse of Scripture from The Message gives us some encouragement: “All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; He’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; He’ll always be there to help you come through it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). Now, if we look at the spiders with that promise in mind, it can help us run toward the scary things—like those divine opportunities to share the good news—instead of running away from them. When God gives you the opportunity to lead someone to him or pray with someone and you take it instead of running away, write to New Frontier and share. Your victories will encourage us all!

On lieutenantship

On lieutenantship

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