And Along Came a Spider

Some time ago my eleven year-old daughter came home from orchestra practice simply devastated. She had been the first to arrive, and as the others filed in, nobody chose to sit by her. She sat at the edge of the room, the only student with an empty chair at her side.

She felt rejected and alone.

So the next day, as I dropped her off, I encouraged her to hold back and let some of the others sit down first, and then make her choice to sit by someone she’d like to get to know better. “Find someone who might be having a bad day, and BE the one to make a friend.”

I encouraged her to have a prayer in her heart, picturing herself with an abundance of friends, and reminded her that choosing to be positive and confident would help others want to be around her.

So she pulled herself together with an intention that things would be different this time. She agreed to pray in her heart and try to think more positively.

But what happened next surprised us both…

When I picked her up from school, she was excited to report that she ended up right between two girls that she was excited to get to know better.

How did it happen? Not the way we thought it would.

Contrary to my advice, she still showed up earlier than most; and out of habit decided to sit in her regular chair on the edge of the room. As a few of the other students filed in, the pattern threatened to repeat itself.

(That’s the power of subconscious thoughts right there…)

However, just then, she noticed a scary spider on her music stand. Creeped out, she took her folder and tried to push it off.

Instead of successfully getting it out of her space, it fell onto her leg. She jumped up and shook her pants, and wasn’t sure where it ended up. Assuming it was still at her chair, she decided that it would be better to move.

It took her out of her comfort zone and into another chair. One of the girls she’d like to know better came in and sat right next to her. Before long, a second girl took the empty chair at her other side.

Admittedly she said she thought the answer to her prayer would show up in the form of an idea, or an added measure of courage to do or say something uncomfortable.

But no, it showed up as a spider.

This micro-experience captures the essence of how God so often deals with us. When we ask for things to be better, he doesn’t just make things better. He creates conditions in our life that make us get out of our comfort zone and put us somewhere else – somewhere, where the blessing we’re asking for can finally be received.

Sometimes we get moved out of our comfort zone and still fail to receive the blessing. This can happen when our thoughts are not inclined to look for the hidden benefit in our adversity.

It would be like my daughter getting out of her regular chair and into another, and being so upset by it that she doesn’t even notice the potential friendships on either side of her. By her response to the hardship, she could have completely denied herself of the blessing that the change contained.

In that case, the girls that flanked her could have picked up on the downer-energy and might have been inclined to just ignore her.

I’m grateful that she was thoughtful enough to give credit to God for sending a spider, because it prepared the way for her to receive the very thing she was hoping for all along.

My dear reader… What’s your spider? What ugly thing has showed up in your life that’s opposite to what you’ve been praying for?

It’s there for a reason. A Hardship is always a blessing in disguise. Pay attention to how it “moves” you.

I’d like to help you make sense (cents) out of your setbacks. Are you ready for a better future? Click here to learn more about the life-changing Mindset Mastery Program. Originally published September 22, 2009

Leslie Householder
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13 Responses

  1. Good day ! Each moning I find myself begining my day reading your lessons then any artcles attached. It is ALWAYS a tear jerker or released faucet of deep gratitude because each time it is exactly applicable to me and what is going on in my life!!! I get “goose bumps” thinking about this even as I write. I cannot express adequate words of what these teachings are doing. I am trying to make them become so imbedded in me that everything I do say and think becomes natural. That is my main goal…my relationship with God is becoming even MORE INTIMATE than ever because of better understanding. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. LOVE PAM

  2. I have to be honest. I know what the spider is (divorce after 25 years) and yes I am out of my comfort zone. But I am having difficulty seeing the blessings. I will pray about it and try to see what it is. There are some I have already seen and enjoy but there is bigger stuff that is so hard and uncomfortable, I just can’t see the blessings. I’ll keep my eyes peeled.

  3. What a great reminder this story is. It is so easy especially this time of year to focus on our problems and frustrations. With holidays coming we should all be extra sensitive to seeing the spiders in our lives. God really does want to bless our lives. Thank you so much for sharing this story.

  4. Joyful Greetings,

    What a beautiful story. A very good lesson as well. I had an auto accident on July 30, 2010 created by myself. Along came a spider is right on time. I asked myself later, after I calmed down, What’s the lesson. What can I take from this to improve my life, my feelings, my thoughts. What gift is there in this incident. Who can I help by it. Along came a spider help me to appreciate my incident could have been worse. It helped me to be grateful for what I have, ask for forgiveness, learn the lesson and feel love for myself and others and move on.

  5. Just last week I posted an article on my blog about this exact principle! Another way of viewing it is that we need to be like a river. When the river comes to a rock, it flows around the rock and ends up in a place it wouldn't have been before if the rock hadn't been there! We must have faith that the rock is there because there is someplace better for us to be! It forces us to turn around and look at other options, options we would not have seen if a rock hadn't dropped in our chosen path. Thanks Leslie!
    Amber (

  6. Lester,

    The Spider is a perfect metaphor for our department. Many thanks. Getting people into the right places (perhaps uncomfortable) is magic.

    We must reject routine and set our team on its own remarkable course, one grounded in human inspiration, caring, and radical collaboration that will lead to distinction. Caring is the difference between a simple, easy form and a three-page government interrogation. Caring is the difference between treating each person as a potential customer and not a nameless face in the hall. That can lead to the radical collaboration. We must worry less about technology and more about who trusts us.
    Emotions are actually the only reason to change. Numbers-based innovations are rarely home runs. It’s the emotional stuff – the stuff that many smart people don’t think will work – that we need to be part of. Listen, Care, Risk, Have Fun!

    Goethe gave us the only bit of wisdom we need. “Whatever you can do, or dream, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it. Begin now.”


  7. Leslie, thank you for the spider story, it was just what I needed to read at this point of the challenges I'm facing. I had been praying a few moments before and God already had, through you, His answer ready. Now my spiders don't look so scary any more. Thanks again.

  8. I needed to read this today, Leslie. We are dealing with a pesky spider or two of our own right now, and I've been losing hope that the blessings will ever come. Thank you for helping me see our spider for what it truly is. 🙂

  9. Leslie…this reminds me so much of the story that I just shared on your forums about our move to Dallas, Tx. I'm glad that we chose a direction that was quite an uncomfortable decision for us because it was a big change. Now we are being blessed. Thanks for this great story.

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