By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer
At my last annual checkup, I told the doctor I thought I had a spider bite.
The doctor told me spiders don’t bite.
Clearly, he’d never seen the movie Spiderman.
I’d been working in the yard a few days earlier and bore what I considered evidence, but I listened as Doc observed and explained. After all, he was the one with M.D. behind his name.
Spiders don’t bite in the way we think of bite, he said. Rather, they inject venom into their prey, let it do its work, then suck out the liquified insides.
It’s the venom from a black widow or brown recluse that causes problems, not their teeny tiny “bite.”
Doc gave me a prescription for a mild skin infection, told me I was healthy as a horse, and sent me on my way.
It just so happened that during this time of the physical “spider bite,” I was also suffering emotional stings of resentment and self-pity. Pretty noxious attacks, those, and it didn’t take an arachnologist to make the metaphorical connection.
If I had been the victim of a black widow, antivenom (antivenin) would possibly have been ordered and administered.
As the victim of resentment and self-pity, I knew these initially minor irritations could grow and spread if I left them unchecked. I knew they could poison me on several levels and eventually paralyze me emotionally and spiritually. The choice was mine: cling to these reactions and let them infect me or find help.
Was there an antidote?
Praise and gratitude are incredibly effective against the venom of resentment, self-pity, and envy. Thanking God for His mercy and goodness takes my eyes off me and my situation and locks my focus on the Lord.
In the book of Job we read, “Resentment kills a fool, and envy slays the simple” (Job 5:2 NIV).
Psalm 37 tells us three times in the first eight verses not to fret. That word forms an acronym I learned years ago: Fear, Resentment and Envy = Turmoil.
Lord, thank you for providing the antidote that cancels the poison of my enemy, and help me administer it every day.
Therefore by Him let us continually
offer the sacrifice of praise to God,
that is, the fruit of our lips,
giving thanks to His name.
“Madeline,” the mother replied. “Cade and I discussed it before he left. I felt certain she was a girl and Cade argued that it was a boy. But he agreed on the name just in case.” Gentle laughter brushed Madeline’s head as she suckled.
“It’s a beautiful name and well chosen.” Carved into one of the crosses atop the hill—Cade’s mother’s name. Sophie recalled his parents’ funeral, the same day Betsy eloped with her beau. Such pain all the way around for this family, yet now new life bore a beloved name and offered another go at things.
Self-pity pinched behind Sophie’s eyes, and when Madeline broke away in sated slumber, Sophie scooped her up. “Enjoy your breakfast now that she’s had hers. I’ll bring the cradle in from Willy’s nursery and then take care of that little man.” ~An Impossible Price
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