Wolf Spiders and Table Saws

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I had a couple of hours recently to do some yard work. I opened the garage door and prepped the mower. Before I went out to mow I decided to prep the leaf blower as well. I had trouble getting the blower started, and after six to eight pulls on the cord I decided to let it sit so as not to flood the carburetor. I figured that after I finished mowing I could come back to get the blower revving, and then use it to clear the sidewalk and driveway.

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I mowed the lawn – with perfectly straight lines of course! That’s how Dad taught us! And then I went back to get the blower. That’s when I discovered that when I tried to start the blower earlier, I accidentally killed a wolf spider which must have been nesting under the blower. Trust me, I have no – as in zero – unrest over killing the wolf spider. What strikes me is how fortunate I was that I didn’t get bit. I’ve never been bit by a wolf spider, nor do I actually know anyone who has been bit by one.  But I looked them up and apparently, in addition to being “robust and agile hunters” they also are venomous. They are not lethal, but they are considered dangerous to humans and can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. And, let’s be honest, they are just creepy. Really creepy. So, with all due respect to said wolf spider, I’m not at all sorry I had the upper hand in this encounter.

But here’s what’s hard for me to process:

A few weeks ago my nephew Kevin cut himself badly while using a table saw as he was installing a bamboo hard wood floor. The saw grabbed his hand as he was trying to “rip” a narrow piece of wood, and Kevin ended up completely shredding a knuckle on one finger, cutting through the bone of another, and seriously injuring a third, while managing to cut all five …. but, get this, not actually severing any fingers, praise God. Through the help of dear friends Kevin has been to see specialists in Fairfax, VA and Richmond, VA.  He has a plan of recovery for moving forward, and, he’s doing all this without health insurance. Bless him. Right? Bless him.

So, the question just sort of hangs there for me.

Why didn’t I get bit by an irritating wolf spider but Kevin nearly cut off his fingers and severely injured himself? I’m not sure, this side of heaven, we’ll ever fully get the answers we desire to tough questions like these; but, like you, I find myself thinking about questions like these, and I wonder.

I wonder how many times God did save me from things I could not see?

How many times did God save my nephew Kevin from things he could not see?

How many times did good things happen and I never gave God the credit?

Did the fact that my nephew Kevin did not entirely sever any of his fingers have anything to do with God’s intervening?

Why did my younger brother Kevin die while he was a passenger in an automobile 28 years ago, while his friend who was driving walked away from the accident? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not at all sorry, in fact I am relieved – RELIEVED – that the driver walked away; but sometimes I wonder why Kevin died.

Don’t you have questions such as these? I know I do and I ask God a lot of these questions throughout the day. I love that I have the type of relationship with God that we connect all day long. We argue sometimes. And we fight. We laugh. We smile. We celebrate little things all day long. I don’t know where I’d be without this Constant Connection.

Yet, even with the laughter and the joy, I sometimes have questions. We all do. I think the answer to life’s tough questions lies in trusting God even when things do not always seem to make sense to us.

I’ve always taken solace in the fact that when my brother Kevin died, I believe with every fiber of my being that Kevin did not die eternally. Yes, the human form of Kevin died. The Kevin whom I knew and loved and wrestled with and played soccer with and slept in the same bedroom with for 22 years …  for sure left this world and is no longer  physically here. That’s fact. But what is also fact for me is that Kevin’s life was not lost to God. The essence of Kevin still lives. His soul is eternal. I’m able to see him again. God is able to restore life. No permanent loss was suffered when Kevin died to the here and now that you and I know. Kevin’s life was not lost to the One Who could restore it.

In our human loss, the presence of God is available for us. We can experience His strength, His comfort, His sustaining love and assurance in the face of some of life’s most awful events. God sustains those who grieve. Those who grieve, God calls to Himself.

My hope is that in asking the questions, we will find the comfort of His presence breaking through the hurt to reveal the love of His Son Jesus right where we are. Right here, right now.

I don’t always get why I didn’t get bit by the spider.

I don’t always get why my nephew Kevin hurt himself so badly.

I don’t always get why young men such as my brother die.

What I do get is God’s eternal presence. His presence to those who seek Him.

Seek Him, my friends. For He is the way, the truth, the life.

Seek Him.

Peace friends, 

Chuck

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