So… it’s a beautiful morning and I’m doing the usual 2000 video cutting-edge aerobics when I look out the window and decide to take Pepper for a walk instead. Good choice, because I not only get good exercise, I also fill my lungs with fresh crisp twenty-four degree country air! AND I get to talk to God – it’s always better out there in His creation.
I’m on my way back, jogging a bit, when I think I hear something behind me. My worst possible nightmare is now a reality. Loping in my path just thirty feet back is a black bear! I hurry my pace, but there’s no way I can outrun it! How often have I played this scenario in my mind before? What will Pepper do? Will Tom find my mangled body?
My legs are jelly, when I stop, plant my feet. Turn around, and scream at the top of my lungs (much like the father on “The Croods”J) I wave my arms and act crazy; and to my amazement, the beast stops, looks, and turns off the road into the woods. Now I’m really ready to fall apart, but thankfully I’m only a hundred yards from the house. I’m going to make it!!
Yes, this is a made up scenario; but ever since I read about a man walking his dog our west somewhere and getting attacked by a black bear, I’ve been wary of walking our dirt road. It’s very deserted: only the two other neighbors’ houses in eye-view from ours, and then one other house at the dead end and a hunting cabin – not much civilization. We often see bears around our house, although we’ve only seen them once when walking this road. It COULD happen, but it didn’t.
So where’s the connection? I had been praying about several “impossible” situations that are in our church, reminding God that He is the God of the impossible, when HE reminded me of some impossible situations in my own life. Would I prove God and work to change those impossible life habits? Doing so would be a good thing! It stopped me short, and I thought of the bear.
What is stalking you, ready to attack and destroy you if it could? Right away we think of something awful like drugs or an extramarital affair; however, most of us aren’t stalked by big Papa bears. Maybe you’re laying out of church for whatever the reason. Perhaps you’ve dropped the habit of daily Bible reading, or you never find the time to pray. Is it the TV programs you watch or the books you read or the internet sights you frequent that are stalking you? Let me tell you – those yearling bears can take the life out of you just as quickly as a full-grown male! They are deadly, and so are the habits I’ve just mentioned. They are not only stalking us, but they are sapping us of our strength, lulling us to sleep.
Can you imagine talking to someone who has a bear chewing on his arm? You say, “What’s that bear doing?”
“Oh, I know. I really need to get rid of him. I’ll get around to it someday.”
But someday never comes because you are dead! Our bad habits are keeping us from the Spirit-filled life that God has planned for each of His dear children.
Years ago, my husband-pastor said this after a counseling session: “I wish I could take that person, who is making wrong choices, and have him talk to the guy I talked to last week that’s just twenty years down the road, reaping the consequences of the same bad choices!”
Make a choice. Plant your feet squarely on God’s Word and determine to change! You don’t have to scream and act crazy, but you do need to storm the Throne of God and ask for help! And watch the bears run!!!
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live;
yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:
and the life which I now live in the flesh
I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”