During World War II, a US marine was separated from his unit on a Pacific island. The fighting had been intense, and in the smoke and the crossfire he had lost touch with his comrades. Alone in the jungle, he could hear enemy soldiers coming in his direction. Scrambling for cover, he found his way up a high ridge to several small caves in the rock. Quickly he crawled inside one of the caves. Although safe for the moment, he realized that once the enemy soldiers looking for him swept up the ridge, they would quickly search all the caves and he would be killed.
As he waited, he prayed, “Lord, if it be your will, please protect me. Whatever your will though, I love you and trust you. Amen.” After praying, he lay quietly listening to the enemy begin to draw close. He thought, “Well, I guess the Lord isn’t going to help me out of this one.” Then he saw a spider begin to build a web over the front of his cave. As he watched, listening to the enemy searching for him all the while, the spider layered strand after strand of web across the opening of the cave.
“Hah, he thought. “What I need is a brick wall and what the Lord has sent me is a spider web!” As the enemy drew closer he watched from the darkness of his hideout and he could see the enemy searching one cave after another. As they came to his, he got ready to make his last stand. To his amazement, however, after glancing in the direction of his cave, they moved on.
Suddenly, he realized that with the spider web over the entrance, his cave looked as if no one had entered for quite a while. “Lord, forgive me,” prayed the young man. “I had forgotten that in you a spider’s web is stronger than a brick wall.”
I can resonate with this story! If I am to be totally honest I can be just like this US marine. There are times when I pray for what I think I need and for what I think is best for me. And, I may say, “Your will be done Lord.” but issues of abandonment, or thoughts of unworthiness often follow that statement. I want to trust—I want to believe but fear or disbelief often wins. But this I know, if I can silence my fearful, and at times, untrusting heart, I will see a web in the darkness—a web of love, compassion, and stability; a web that is perfectly woven to protect me, or guide me—just in the nick of time.
My hope as I sit in my next dark cave of unwelcomed circumstance or uncertainty that I will not panic or blame God for wrong answered prayer or unanswered prayer, but that I will quietly observe and patiently wait to see what the Lord is doing—thy will be done!