Monday, May 26, 2014


Yes, it’s bear season again. And I pray you’re able, through God’s power and wisdom, to keep all the bugaboo bears out of your life.


Big black bears

This Bair has met black bears on three separate occasions during my hikes. One of them, I’m sure, was as long as the wide trail I walked. One stood by a tree on the side of the same trail, and the third lay resting in a roadside ditch, undetected until I found myself looking straight into its eyes. I have a healthy fear of larger-than-me mammals, so in each case I slowly retreated until I was out of their sight, then high-tailed it for home.

I sometimes see tree stumps that look like bears, too. They look safe but probably are not. Conversely, stumps that I believe are bears really are harmless, but I fear them anyway.

The noun “bear” means more than the animal. It also means “something difficult to deal with.” We all face those kinds of bears. Some of them we could call baby bears—like when we discover we’re out of eggs and must change our dinner plans. Other bears may be mama-sized, like having a flat tire on a busy highway. And, of course, there are the big black bears—learning a loved one has cancer, for instance.

Regardless of size, any bear, any problem, offers us three choices: confront, go around, or turn away. We don’t always have the time or opportunity to carefully consider our choices, either. Sometimes we have to flee from sudden danger.

God offers us helpful wisdom in our choices when it comes to temptations or just plain living. Many verses in the Psalms and Proverbs, for instance, speak of the value of gaining God’s wisdom, said to be worth more than gold, silver, or rubies. Wisdom brings knowledge of God. It also offers victory, protection, and safety, among other valuables. It is supreme and the Bible says we should seek it at all times.

The most wonderful thing about using God’s wisdom—as opposed to the wisdom of man—is that it can help us make the right choices in any situation, no matter what kind of bears we face. All we need is trust that He will give us the wisdom we need, when we ask.

“And my God will supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

Lord, give us the wisdom to determine not only the size and seriousness of what we face today, but also the wisdom to know when to confront, when to go around, and when to turn away. We thank You for Your infinite wisdom and Your willingness to impart it to us. Amen.

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