A small yellow butterfly darted across the mountain laurel blooms, oblivious to the danger lurking on the next stem. A spider, on the other hand, was very aware.
The butterfly lapped at the sweet nectar, moving slowly across the multiple blooms — each bloom drawing her towards her enemy. One misstep — one moment of focusing only on satisfying her thirst for nectar — and she met her demise. Her feet became entangled in the sticky thread of the spider’s web.
She fought. She resisted.
But to no avail.
Her fighting only strengthened her bonds of entanglement.
It did not set her free.
I noticed the spider slinking out of his corner toward his prize. Alarmed, I thought, Not on my watch, Mister … not on my watch!
I grabbed a stick laying at my feet and placed it gently beneath the butterfly. Quick maneuvering finally broke through the web enough that her feet made contact with the stick. The spider stopped in its tracks. Ha!
With gentle movements I slowly lifted the butterfly out of her sticky prison. Careful tugs eventually released her from the threads that clung to her legs and she lifted her wings to fly free.
I thought of my own tangled web ensnaring me to the very things the Lord has set me free from — things like worry, things like the idol of food, things like lack of contentment. Do you know what I mean? He broke those chains and unwrapped my legs so I could unfurl my wings and fly.
But then I took down my guard, lost my focus, and concentrated on the lies and schemes the enemy tempted me with to draw me into his web.
Why, oh why would I want to step into the enemy’s snare again?
Oh wretched woman that I am!
Paul exhorts the Churches of Galatia:
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. ~ Galatians 5:1
He is referring to walking in the beautiful gift of God’s grace and not being entangled in the bondage of religious law. Although my struggles don’t stem from religious laws, they do stem from the lack of obedience within my heart. They stem from taking my eyes off Jesus and, I suppose, trusting in my own self more than Him.
When my thoughts are stayed on Him, my mind remains in peace.
When I feast on His Word and drink from His well, I am satisfied and don’t seek comfort in food.
When I remember and think on His faithfulness, my heart remains steadfast and thankful.
I know He stands by us ready to assist, ready to offer a way of escape, ready to free us from the enemy’s snare. What an amazing God we serve! Can’t you just hear the Lord saying, “Not on My watch, Mister … not on My watch!” as He rides on the wings of the wind to hasten to our side.
I love that image.
Oh, how He loves you and me.