Lessons From A Brown Recluse

The brown recluse. It is a deadly spider whose bite will eat away at your flesh and can also kill. It was through this spider that God taught me about a major need in my life…surrender.

I was living in Texas at the time. I was in a training school for missions. They had warned us to kill the bugs first and identify them later. However, I was not awake when I was bitten. Late at night a brown recluse bit me on the tip of my thumb. I felt nothing and slept through the night.

When I awoke the next morning I noticed my thumb was sore but attributed it to the frequency of writing I was doing. Not only was I taking notes in class but I was also on a writing binge: poems, sermons and stories. Throughout the day my thumb continued to ache.

The next day I was feeling worse. My thumb developed a blister and I was beginning to feel sick. I did not connect the two however. By the third day I could not write and my blister was swelling. That afternoon I noticed a red streak on my wrist. All of the local doctors offices were closed so I decided to lance the blister. By late evening the red streak had reached my shoulder and I was experiencing severe pain in my arm. A friend drove me the 45 minutes to the nearest hospital. The doctor examined my thumb and told me a brown recluse had bitten me. He immediately gave me some antibiotics and told me that had I waited 6 more hours I would have been dead. Apparently the poison was in my blood stream. By lancing the blister the doctor said I saved my thumb as well. With a brown recluse if the blister had burst naturally the infection inside would have destroyed my flesh.

It was 3 weeks before I could hold a pencil again. It took 6 months for my thumbnail to grow back. During that time God taught me a valuable lesson. I had focused on my writing to the point that it had become an idol. I wrote from morning until night. My journal was filled. My personal relationship with God was beginning to suffer. I focused more on writing for Him than spending time with Him.

Did God send the brown recluse? I will let you decide. He did use the situation though to awaken me to the truth. I was forced to think and relax for those 3 weeks. I spent more time in the Word. Through that God showed me what place writing had taken in my life. A lifetime of writing I finally laid at the throne of God. I had to surrender that desire.

When something takes Gods place that something has to be released to Him. I did not know if He would ever let me pick it back up again. I continued to write letters and school notes but it stopped there. It was about 6 months before I felt God release me to pick it up again. Today I obviously still write, though only occasionally and when I feel God’s leading. Many of the items found on this blog are things I have had laying around for years. I do know that I learned a valuable lesson from that brown recluse. One I never want to forget.

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