By Robert Halsey Pine
“Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you endure; they will all wear out like a garment. You change them like clothing, and they pass away…” (Psalm 102 NRSV).
As I prepare to write this devotional today, a visitor blesses me. A Daddy Longlegs has walked across my computer desk and onto my Bible. It has decided to park right at the beginning of Psalm 102. Nothing that I’m doing seems to be a bother to it. I wonder how many centuries back this creature’s ancestors go. It has four pairs of legs. Its head and thorax are joined as one, and the abdomen is separate. This creature is not an insect. It is related to the spider and belongs to a class of small insect-like land animals called Arachnids (World Book ©1982). Daddy Longlegs is also known as Harvestman.
The psalmist reminds us that everything in the universe eventually wears out. Only God endures forever. God creates everything. It sounds simple. As I looked at the fragile legs on the Daddy Longlegs, it reminded me how fragile I am. In the natural world I may be less significant than my friend Harvestman is to me. To God, however, both Harvestman and I are important. “Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over…every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’”(Genesis 1:26 NRSV)
God’s love never wears out. If we turn to Him and love Him and our neighbors as He has commanded us, then our love from Him and in Him will never wear out. That is eternal life. I can’t give Harvestman eternal life, for he is like me and will someday die. I won’t squash him because he will help protect me by eating insects. God needs us to represent Him in our time. He sent Jesus to teach us His ways and through Jesus’ death He atoned for our sins. How did the message of the Gospel get to me today? It was through people like you and me with whom He entrusted His message. Think of all those who have made sacrifices and suffered, so that we might better know our Lord. I am humbled.
Father God, Give me the strength to share Your love. Give me the courage and perseverance of my Daddy Longlegs friend Harvestman, so that I may be focused on what You have commissioned me and all of Your children to do. We should love You and one another. AMEN.
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.