I got in my car after my discipleship meeting. My camera was sitting in the seat next to me. Holy Spirit had asked me to bring it so that I could take a trip to Black Creek. Rain gently pelted the windshield.
“Am I still supposed to go?” I asked.
I felt like Holy Spirit gave me a yes, so I started driving toward the trailhead, hoping the rain would stop by the time I got there. As I drove, there were moments when the rain stopped and hoped that the rain had already passed over the trail system.
I parked. The rain had let up a little, but there was still the steady pitter patter on the car.
“Am I still supposed to go?” I asked. “And if so when?”
I waited for a break in the rain, and when I felt Holy Spirit say go, I went. The rain was just a light mist. I started on the trail, keeping my camera in my bag under a waterproof covering. If I couldn’t stay dry, I wanted my camera to. As I was walking on the trail, I heard a man’s voice. Off the path there was a building and overhang. He shouted something I couldn’t hear. I asked him to repeat it and he shouted again. When I couldn’t understand him a second time, I started walking over. “I’m sorry, my hearing isn’t that good.”
I had spiritual ears to hear, but my natural hearing was less than ideal from years of working on aircraft.
“Why don’t you get out of the rain?” he asked. “Most people don’t like walking when it’s raining.”
I took pause not knowing how to answer. I knew for sure I wasn’t like most people, but how do you tell a stranger that the Spirit of God led you to come to this place and walk in the rain at this time, without knowing why? Holy Spirit was around me. I didn’t know where He was leading me, but I was convinced He was leading. If He was with me, I wanted to go.
Instead of saying all that, I said, “I like the rain.”
“Well . . . have a good walk.”
I went back to the main trail, inhaling the fragrance of wet earth. I looked around at all the leaves, soaked with living water. The more Holy Spirit taught me about photography, the more I realized I had a specialty for water and light. A speciality for the capturing the intimate details of God’s creation.
As I walked, the rain started up again and I found a large palm leaf and stood under it, protected from the rain. I thought about the safety and protection of the spiritual covering I had by being aligned with a spiritual father who was part of an international ministry. Under the palm, I was safe to take out my camera and look around and take pictures without the risk of getting soaked. I thought about how at FreedomHouse, I had a safe place and covering to become who I was meant to be. How photography was an aspect of my identity I’d never known about until I was aligned and covered by a spiritual father and a ministry that God had designed me to be a part of.
When the rain let up, I moved out again. I stopped and took pictures of some cool mushrooms I saw on the ground, shimmering with fresh rain. Everything looks more beautiful when touched by water and light.
I kept exploring, battling mosquitos. Sometimes I wandered off trail to take a picture of a cool log or plant. I surrendered the adventure to Holy Spirit, not knowing what He wanted me to get from the trip. When He told me to turn around on the trail, I did.
On the way back, I saw the same things as I saw on the way out, but suddenly the sunlight broke through the clouds, illuminating the forest. Everything looks different when touched by light. Pictures I took on the way out, I retook with the play of light on the plants. I capture drops of dew glistening with sunshine on a plant that had been so lackluster before, I’d ignored it.
When I felt finished, with my ground level picture taking, I looked up and saw a GIANT spider web with a GIANT spider in it. The web was glistening in the sunlight. I was nervous, but I was bold enough to capture a photo of it. I started walking again and saw more spider webs and giant spiders lit up in the sunlight. Everywhere I looked I saw massive webs all along the pathway I’d took into the forest.
The light exposed what was hidden.
Now that the sunlight was shining through the forest, everywhere I looked I saw giant spiders. I heard the voice of a prophet in my head saying, “Fear is a spirit. Tell it to go.”
As I tried running out of the woods, I was shouting, “Fear! Go in the name and authority of Jesus!”
I got to my car and ripped off my sweater, fearing there were spider webs covering me. I kept trying to convince myself that regardless of the external circumstances, I had a choice to be afraid.
I danced in the parking lot as if my skin was crawling with giant spiders. “Fear! Go in the name of Jesus!” I shouted.
My mind was trying to convince me that I was covered in them, but I checked out my arms and legs. Nothing. Nothing to be afraid of. The spirit was trying to open up a door and I told it no!
I thought of how I’d walked past all those spiders on my way in, and I’d been safe and protected the whole time. It reminded me of PSALM 91:
Psalm 91: Safety of Abiding in the Presence of God
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.
Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
In their hands they shall [c]bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”
I’d received a prophetic word a few weeks before saying that as long as I was in the will of God, I was safe. At the time, I didn’t think Holy Spirit would lead me into a spider den to prove it, but here we are. Praise God for keeping me safe and for the prophet He put in place to plant a seed in me that I could pull out and war with in times of danger! LOL.