The tarantula. A large, hairy spider, common to the tropical and desert regions of the Americas. Its body can measure up to three inches in diameter and its legs can reach ten inches in length. In addition to its scary size, it also bites. A perfect pet for the home, wouldn’t you think?
To say that the young ladies at our mission station in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, were not particularly fond of this “little” creature would have been a serious understatement. With this knowledge in mind, the local Haitian boys devised a “wonderful” plan that they couldn’t wait to execute. After ensuring that all the girls were there, they crept across the yard and onto the veranda to release a beautiful, hairy tarantula into the kitchen of the house that the female student missionaries called home.
The little pet went unnoticed at first, but as it began to explore its new home, it was suddenly frightened out of its wits by an ear-piercing shriek:
“Heeeeeehhhhhhhhelllllllllppppppppppp!!!! A….a…..a…. monster!”
“A monster?” thought the tarantula. “Surely not me!”
It wasn’t long before other voices joined in with the first, and very soon the creature was surrounded by a “quaint” choir of screams:
Outside the house, the local boys rolled on the grass with tears streaming down their faces, laughing so hard that they could hardly breathe. Finally one of the more compassionate of the group decided it was time to come to the rescue of the fair damsels in distress. He politely knocked on the door, but when no one heard him, he opened it and cautiously entered. The girls were all standing on the kitchen chairs, two or more to each one, their eyes bulging out of their faces as their voices continued their not-so-quaint chorus: AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
“Can I be of any help?” the innocent-looking boy called out over the ruckus. The word “help” instantly got their attention. “There…there is a horrible tarantula right…right there!” they screamed.
The young man courageously approached the poor creature, and only stopping briefly to make sure all eyes were upon him, he lifted his bare foot and smashed the head of the hapless, hairy monster. Instantly the chorus of screams changed to a choir of thanksgiving and adoration as the girls came down from their chairs and surrounded this once-ordinary boy turned superhero.
Soon, however, the sound of howling laughter on the veranda drew the girls’ attention away from their champion. It didn’t take them long to realize that they had just been the victims of an evil prank, and in just a few seconds, their new hero found himself rolling out the door to join his sinister comrades, robbed once and for all of his “superman” status.
Have you ever had days where you have been confronted at work or at home by hairy monsters or long-legged nightmares? Your “tarantula” may be a domineering boss or a jealous, intolerable colleague; or it may be a drunken spouse or financial difficulties. But no matter what your “tarantula” looks like, it is very real and it doesn’t go away. Who do you rely on when confronting these nightmarish troubles? Do you make the same mistake as those student missionaries and rely on those who are the cause of your problems? Or even worse, do you rely on yourself?
Why not look to Jesus instead? He’s the One who promises generous help to anyone who believes: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” (James 1: 5-8) NIV
Jesus is faithful and will come through for you. But notice that if we doubt, we are being “double-minded” and will not “receive anything from the Lord”. We are left on our own devises.
So instead of screaming until you lose your voice the next time you face a “tarantula”, remember James 4:8: “Come near to God and He will come near to you.” If you stand on this promise, without doubting, I can assure you that He will rescue you from the “tarantulas” of your life!
Do you have any tarantula troubles? Call JESUS to the rescue!