The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

January 18, 2014

He knows the fortress you need

Keeping The Faith column

By Bev Davis

— Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published July 16, 2005.

I’ve been having one of those weeks where I’ve felt inadequate and just plain overwhelmed by life.

I’ve been fighting spiritual battles on several fronts, and have been defeated in more than my share of them.

It has been one of those times I’ve felt uncertain about the future, disgruntled about the past and extremely vulnerable.

Enter a faithful friend who always sends me an e-mail with a message that feeds my soul just when I need it most. The following story gave me the reassurance I needed to believe that God is very much in control of my life, and that His protective hand is always upon my life.

As the story goes, a U.S. Marine, separated from his unit on a Pacific island during World War II, found himself alone in a jungle.

The fighting had been intense, and in the smoke and the crossfire, he had lost touch with his comrades.

Scrambling for cover, he found his way to a high ridge and several small caves in the rock. Quickly, he crawled inside one of the caves.

Although he was safe for the moment, he realized enemy soldiers would easily find him when they searched the shallow shelters.

The soldier prayed, “Lord, if it be Your will, please protect me. Whatever Your will is, though, I will love You and trust You. Amen.”

He heard enemy fire in the distance and wondered how long it would be before danger came near his small hiding place.

As he strained to hear sounds near the cave, his eyes caught a slight movement at the upper edge of the cave.

He became captivated as he watched a spider building her web.

Slowly and patiently, strand by strand, she wove a web across the narrow opening of his cave.

“Oh, little spider, if only you could build me a brick wall. That’s what I need now,” he lamented. “I guess the Lord isn’t going to help me out of this one. He sent me a spider web when I need a brick wall. What a sense of humor the Lord has.”

He tensed as he heard the enemy drawing near and waited expecting the end to come soon.

Scrunched low, he could see them checking the caves, probing inside for refugees like him.

Suddenly, the Japanese soldier glanced his way, started to move forward, uttered something he could not understand, turned and left.

It took him a moment to realize what had happened.

When the enemy saw the thick undisturbed spider web over the entrance of his cave, they thought that no one had been in that cave for quite a while.

“Lord, forgive me,” the grateful Marine prayed. “I should have known that with You, a spider’s web is even stronger than a brick wall.”

Whatever your danger or fear, God will prepare your way of escape or your wall of protection. Resist the urge to tell Him what kind of fortress You need.

Turn to Him and receive His help — however He chooses to send it.