images (2)I’m not proud of my phobia of spiders. After all, God created them for a divine purpose; not to frighten me. I’m not afraid of heights, or cramped spaces and darkness is no big deal.  Rats, roaches, snakes, or rabbits don’t give me fits. I’m okay with crowds and clowns, loud booms or dark rooms, but put an arachnid in front of me, and I’m racked with hives.  There is this unique way that they move, that is intimidating.  I’m afraid to admit it, but it is true! I am afraid of spiders.

                One evening back in the spring, a huge black monster with eight legs crawled from its dark damp lair onto the wall of our living room and proceeded to laugh, as I was frozen in fear.  My princess in her shining armor (Auburn sweatshirt and sweatpants), quickly dashed to the rescue.  She wielded her sword (a copy of the March issue of Country Living) and decimated the ogre with one fell swoosh.  Safe and secure, my heroine!  We have this fair arrangement; she vanquishes the spiders, and I, the rodents.  This works well for me when she is around, but woe is me when the dreaded Arachne comes to me alone.  Such a day came a few weeks ago while I was busy at work, cutting up old brush and timber and burning it.  Once again, the creature from the black wet underworld of logs and leaves, stealthily climbed onto my leg and patiently waited for the right moment.  I had taken three maybe four steps, when I noticed the terror just 6 inches below my belt.  However, I did not panic!  I was quite calm, composed, void of any feelings of dread or anxiety I simply reached down with my free hand, brushed the menace off my leg, and quickly delivered the death blow with my right foot.  I neither winced nor fainted from such a huge specimen.  It was twice as big as the spider that my wife destroyed a few months earlier.  I was not rendered worthless for that moment or the rest of the day, but worked around the same wood pile for several days thereafter.  What changed? Had I somehow overcome my fear of spiders?

                The answer is quite simple; WORK!

That’s right!  WORK!  When I felt anxious and fear seem to grip me, freezing me from action, I was sitting, eating popcorn, watching a movie, basically doing nothing but consuming time with idle behavior.   When I was calm, composed, confident and aggressive in acting; I was working, busy in both my mind and muscles, concentrating on the task at hand.  My idleness presented me with fear and sterile inaction.  My busyness   granted me cool and swift performance.

                When God made man, He put him in the garden to work it and keep it.  We were created to work and thereby give glory and honor to God through the creative free will he gave us.   All that we do, if it is with fear and love for God, is glorious to him.  If we build bridges, grow crops, sweep houses, protect people, proclaim His gospel, care for the sick, sale commodities, teach academics, train in a vocation, paint, compose  music or write a book we are working,  and working is a wonderful gift.  When we are working, we are not consumed with idle behavior.  Our minds are engaged in the task at hand.  Statistics will bear out that those who are incarcerated and constantly in debt to society, are those who are idle, unwilling to work, slothful.  They are more interested in ways of getting out of work. They stay  up late to the wee hours of the morning, stealing to pay for drugs and alcohol that will numb them of reality. They fear Satan and thus are enslaved to his will, anxious, paranoid, devoid of reason, frozen to inaction. We are warned in 1Pe 5:8  Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  When we are busy and working, as unto the Lord (Col.3:23), we are free and confident.  We are able to quench the stinging fangs of Satan, without fear or dread.  We are bold to approach the throne of God and therefore have the comfort of His grace, which gives us peace and resolution in times of fear.

                If Little Miss Muffet had been doing her chores instead of sitting on her tuffet, eating her curds and whey, that spider would have never sat down beside her and frightened Miss Muffet away.

Darryl Fuller