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Viewpoint from Pat Stringer 04/11/2022

Dove rightPat Stringer
Licensed Lay Minister
Parish of Great Yarmouth


God’s creation is beautiful, in many different ways in every season of the year.  We have now moved from the blue skies and sunny days of summer into the “Mists and mellow fruitfulness” of autumn; an ode to autumn famously written by John Keats, published 200 years ago this year.  Going into my garden early with the sun trying its best to shine through the early morning mist, I saw a spider’s web spun in the bushes, it was sparkling as the sun’s rays caught the drops of dew clinging to the web, they were sparkling like diamonds.  .If you haven’t done it before, take a closer look at the amazing patterns of those circular webs in your garden.  The spider you’ll usually see making those is the garden cross spider one of the orb-weaving family, it’s called a cross spider because of the marking of a cross on its back
Seeing the web set me thinking of the spider, a little creature who has patience and endurance to spin these webs.  If they cannot reach the opposite side to where they begin to spin their web, they try again and again until they succeed.  This is a message we can all take on board.  The persistence and patience of the spider reminded me of a story I came across about a happening in World War II
dove leftDuring 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 realised 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 spin 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. As the enemy drew closer he watched from the darkness of his hideout and could see them 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 realised that with the spider’s 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"
We all face times of great trouble. When we do, it is so easy to forget the help that God can bring to our lives, sometimes in the most surprising ways. As the great leader, Nehemiah, reminded the people of Israel when they faced the task of rebuilding Jerusalem, "The God of Heaven is the one who will give us success" (Nehemiah 2:20).  Believe in God, He is with you always 

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