Have you ever felt entrapped? There’s a way out.
What they trust in is fragile; what they rely on is a spider’s web.Job 8:14
A Walk on the Wild Side
I pulled into the parking lot of the wildlife refuge and looked around with trepidation. No other cars, not even a government vehicle, dotted the lot. My little blue Prius sat alone. According to the website, the refuge had opened an hour ago. Evidently, no one else wanted to brave the heat and humidity of a Texas July day to look for birds.
I gathered my gear—binoculars, camera, and bear spray, and started down a trail. As I walked, I kept one ear tuned for birdsong, and the other for evidence of other humans. I almost walked into the biggest spider web I’d ever seen. Over six feet high, the web spanned the five-foot-wide trail, completely blocking my path at normal walking height.
A giant Golden Silk Orb-Weaver (aka banana spider) held court in the center of the web—right at eye level. I don’t like walking through spider webs. If a spider spends all that time spinning it, I don’t want to ruin their masterpiece. I discovered I could bend over and pass under the web without disturbing it.
Twenty feet down the trail, another giant spider web blocked my path a second time. Once again, I had to crouch down to get past it. Fifteen spider webs later, I started to feel as if a conspiracy of spiders wanted to entrap me.
I rounded a corner in the trail and found a T in the pathway. Maybe the sunnier route would have fewer spider webs. It did, but scarcely. Now I guessed the real reason for the empty parking lot. Maybe local birders knew about the conspiracy of spiders and, like me, didn’t want to destroy the webs to see birds.
A quick look on the internet revealed more about how the Golden Silk Orb-Weaver’s builds its web to entrap different prey.
Built to Entrap a Variety of Prey
The Golden Silk Orb-Weaver spins a golden-colored web it will use throughout its life. Depending on its location and possible prey, the web will have different design features. Stiffer silk for larger prey (such as small birds and larger insects), and more flexible silk for smaller prey.
The center of the web has elastic silk, which helps signal to the spider what type and size of prey it entraps. If its home gets damaged beyond repair, the spider will eat its web and build a new home.
My findings make me glad I went to the trouble of passing under the webs instead of through them. But they made me think of a real conspirator. The devil does a good job of trying to entrap us in his web of lies. He knows which lies will work the best to snare our joy and peace of mind.
I’m not worthy. I can’t do anything right. Other people hate me. I’m too fat. I don’t have what it takes. I’ll never understand.
He whispers these suggestions in our hearts, and we entrap ourselves by walking right into the web of deceit. We slowly build a web of helplessness around ourselves—one that seems too wide, too high, and too strong to break out of.
Although strong, spider webs are fragile and easy to break through. The devil’s lies entrap us with a negative mindset, but with God’s help (and maybe even the help of a therapist or medication), we can break through the web of deceit and regain our joy.
Have you ever broken out of the devil’s ploy to entrap you? What did you do?