spider webs - corckscrew swampOh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! [Romans 11:33 (ESV)]

Last Friday, I wrote that I preferred visiting the enigmatic swamp to the impeccable Botanic Garden because it more closely resembles the confusion and disorder of this holy mess we call life. Nevertheless, hidden in its mystifying disarray of vines, trees, lichens, ferns and other assorted plants and animals, order can be found.

On certain days, when conditions are just right, beautiful orb spider webs can be seen in the early morning light. These amazing feats of engineering begin when a spider floats just one strand of silk on the wind to another surface. After securing the line, the spider crosses the “bridge,” reinforcing it as he goes and continues to drop and secure lines. Eventually, a nearly perfect circular web is constructed of numerous concentric circles with spokes going out from the center. A spider’s web can be anything from a few inches to six feet across. Ounce for ounce, spider silk is five to six times stronger than the same weight of steel. More elastic than rubber, it can stretch two to four times its length without breaking. Only a tenth the diameter of a human hair, a strand of spider silk long enough to circle the earth would weigh less than a bar of soap! I find it humbling that one diminutive eight-legged creature can construct a complex web from a thread we humans can’t even reproduce. There is nothing haphazard or chaotic about spiders and webs. Their amazing creations tell me that, unplanned as the swamp or our lives may seem, there is nothing random or haphazard about them—they are as much a part of God’s amazing and complex plan as are spider webs.

On most days, the spiders’ delicate webs are difficult to see; yet, even when they are indiscernible, I know they are there. God’s plan is much like that—sometimes it appears crystal clear and other times it seems undetectable. Nevertheless, there is a divine plan for each one of us! Whether or not I see their webs, I know the spiders are there and haven’t abandoned the swamp. Regardless of our perception of His plan, we can be sure that God is in control and won’t abandon us either. If we believe in the goodness of God, we must trust His plan (whether or not we understand or appreciate it). Like the spiders’ webs, it is intricate and sometimes difficult to discern. It is, however, a plan of strength, resilience and exquisite beauty.

God from all eternity did by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass. [Westminister Confession of Faith]

In the infinite wisdom of the Lord of all the earth, each event falls with exact precision into its proper place in the unfolding of His divine plan. Nothing, however small, however strange, occurs without His ordering, or without its particular fitness for its place in the working out of His purpose; and the end of all shall be the manifestation of His glory, and the accumulation of His praise. [B.B. Warfield]

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. [Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)]

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