Y’all! It has been a crazy summer of traveling. We clocked thousands of miles and had many adventures while making tons of new memories. We did family. And we did it to the fullest. But, when you are gone for weeks at a time and only home long enough to do laundry before re-packing….. the cobwebs wage WAR!
I’m talking about: They. Are. Everywhere.
Now, I have been known to be a bit crazed about my housekeeping before I had kids. But, those days are gone. I LOVE a clean, organized house. Throwing out things or donating them makes me giddy!! But, sadly, I am not as fastidious a homemaker as I wish I were. Nor am I as disciplined – as my sweet Nana was – to maintain a clean home, especially in these “young-un” years. But, yall, I don’t do spiders.
When I was young–maybe 2nd grade–one night, my dad brought home a tarantula for us to observe for a little while. This was a super cool thing to us kids for two reasons:
- Our dad was like the coolest person ever to be brave enough to catch one.
- We could go to school and tell our friends we had a pet tarantula. (In small town Texas, that’s some serious cred!)
We went out the next morning to see it, but it had died. Daddy had inadvertently put him in the empty jar the owners used to treat the swimming pool. We were still pretty fascinated. My sister dumped him out on the ground, and we nudged him with a stick to make sure he was really dead. Then, as I leaned in closer, my precious sister picked that bloomin’ thing up. And. Threw. It. In. My. Hair.
May I take a moment to remind you, dear friend, that tarantulas are in fact “hairy”? According to Wikipedia “These hairs, called the scopula, help the tarantula to grip better….”
It was like Velcro. The more I screamed and swatted at my hair, the more that stupid, hairy, ginormous spider got stuck. It was awful! I remember the tortuous moments of panic dragging on and on without anyone to notice my dire situation. With every head shake, swat (without actually touching the spider, mind you) and panicked jump/stamping-of-feet-in-a-sad-Irish-dance-imitation, my hope was dwindling. There was no way to get it out. My only thought: “I am going to have to shave my head!!”
Now, as an adult, I will grudgingly admit it may have only taken a minute for the entire county to hear me. My dad or brother came out, I don’t remember which one. He told me to calm down and be still. Then he deftly worked the hairs away from the spider and put the carcass back on the ground. (I. Have. The. Willies. Just. Writing. About. This.)
So, when I say “I don’t do spiders”, I mean it! I took one look at the stringy corners of terror around me and I went on a bit of a cleaning binge! I was dusting off the top of our piano. It is black lacquer and the high sheen shows every single speck of dust. So, I get a huge rush from accomplishing that task. It’s my way of psyching myself up to do something unseen but necessary. When my kids see me get out the “big cleaning stuff” they find somewhere–anywhere–else to go. So, when my oldest daughter walked in, as I’m finishing up the piano, I was surprised to see her. I asked what she thought of it, and she said to me: “Don’t forget to dust off your hope, Mama!” Then she twirled out into the rain to play in the mud puddles, and destroy my freshly mopped floors.
Out of the mouths of babes!!
This sign, which sits on top of our piano, was a gift to my family from a precious college student. She gave it to us during a season of intense grief and pain to remind us whose we are. There is ALWAYS hope.
As I stood entranced at my dusty “hope”, I heard the still small voice telling me once again:
“Be quiet, and get still. I’m here to help you. Just stop struggling.”
Let’s look at Psalm 46:10 in a few different translations.
“Be still and know that I am God….” (NIV)
“Stop your fighting, and know that I am God….” (CSB)
“Cease striving and know that I am God….” (NAS1977)
Friends, I don’t know what spiders have gotten stuck in your hair. I don’t know what worries, heartaches, and sorrows have coated your hope. But, it is time to be still. Sink into the knowledge of the God of heaven. He is on His throne. He is still sovereign. He is right there with His pierced hands open. Eager to help untangle you from the snares. Giddy to dust you off. Then, to step back and admire your beauty–His masterpiece.
Won’t you join me today in asking Him to show up in the middle of your mess? To allow you to hear Him call out? To uncover your hope? To remind you:
“The Lord of Armies is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.” (Psalm 46:11 CSB)
It would be my honor to pray for you, dear one. Please, if you would leave your request in the comments, or send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).