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Spiders and snakes invade homes in Australia: How God uses your past to prepare you for the future

Ryan Denison is the Senior Fellow for Theology at Denison Forum, where he contributes writing and research to many of the ministry’s productions.

He is in the final stages of earning his PhD in church history at BH Carroll Theological Institute after having earned his MDiv at Truett Seminary. Ryan has also taught at BH Carroll and Dallas Baptist University.

He and his wife, Candice, live in East Texas and have two children.

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A snake eyes a spider on its web
© Rosa/stock.adobe.com

There has been a lot about the last twelve months or so that has felt like living in a horror movie. Seldom has that been more true, however, than for residents of New South Wales in southeastern Australia. 

As CNN‘s Jack Guy explains, record flooding along the coast has caused nearly eighteen thousand people to be evacuated from their homes, and those who chose to stay behind are left to cope with far more than rising tides.

Humans, after all, are not the only denizens of that region, and the local wildlife have joined the search for shelter as well.

Matt Lovenfosse has been using Facebook to keep people updated on the state of events at his family’s farm in Kinchela Creek. The pictures are often the stuff of nightmares, with swarms of spiders that blanket the ground and trees filled with snakes (at least when they’re not making a mad dash for your boat) among the most noteworthy problems. 

At least they would be for most people. Lovenfosse doesn’t really seem to mind. 

As he describes it, “I grew up here on the farm so I have always been around snakes, spiders and all the other animals so they don’t bother me and usually we don’t cross paths too often but when the flood comes they have to find somewhere to get dry.”

Were our roles reversed, I don’t know that I would be quite so matter-of-fact when describing the coming invasion, but I guess it’s a bit less shocking when you’ve been through it before, as Matt seems to do about every ten years. Similar flooding occurred in 2001 and in 2013, so this won’t be Matt’s first time to welcome hordes of spiders as temporary roommates. 

Of course, that Matt has experienced this onslaught before doesn’t change the reality of what’s to come. It does shift his perspective, though, and that can make all the difference. 

Recall the past to prepare for the future

One of God’s most consistent commands to the Israelites throughout their history was to remember how he had brought them out of slavery in Egypt and, from looking back on those events, learn to trust him when the next calamity came (See Exodus 20:2, Deuteronomy 6:12, Joshua 24:17, Judges 2:12, 1 Samuel 10:18, 1 Kings 8:16, 2 Kings 17:36, Psalm 81:10, Jeremiah 7:22, Daniel 9:15, Amos 2:10, Micah 6:4). 

And, as demonstrated by how often it’s repeated, that command was not just for the generation that actually experienced the events of the Exodus. Rather, the charge to remember what he’d done for their ancestors was also a promise of what he could do for them if they would demonstrate similar faith in following him in the midst of their current trials. 

It was a call to remember who God is rather than just what he’d done for them and, as such, it remains just as relevant for us today as it has been for countless generations of his people. 

So the next time you face a situation or dilemma that seems overwhelming, think back on the times God has proven himself reliable in the past, both in your life and in the lives of others, and ask him to help you use those memories to see your current struggles from a different perspective. Doing so won’t make your problems go away, but it can help you find the strength and faith to face them well. 

While our problems may change, our God doesn’t. Whether it’s hordes of spiders and snakes or something a little less apocalyptic, he stands ready to walk with you along the path ahead. 

Will you join him? 

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