"The Lord is the one who will go before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or abandon you. Do not be afraid or discouraged: Deuteronomy 31:8
In the beginning of spring when just a touch of warmth enters the air Dana and I start walking our neighborhood for some much needed sunshine and fresh air after the long winter. As soon as he gets home from work I am ready to hit the road and see and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us on these country roads. We talk about how everything feels and looks so fresh at the beginning of the season and how we are so blessed to get to live here.
What we see is more rolling hills and open land than homes and buildings. Cows more than people. Dirt roads more than highways and byways. We hear the wind blowing through the large trees that surround us and the birds that are making their nest there. One of us will always comment on how peaceful it is and we silently thank God for it.
Believe it or not over the years the roaming dogs are not so much a thing to me as they used to be. (;see post, What Are You Afraid Of?) Of course I say that but still require Dana to reassure me each time we go out that he is with me and will never let any dog hurt me. (My question to him is always, "What if he gets you first?"). But usually as soon as God breathes the fresh air in my lungs and allows the warmth of His sun to touch the top of my head my cares diminish all together.
One day last summer as we were out for our walking journey a truck came along beside us and the driver warned us of a bear in our parts. Now we had heard of some bear sightings around our area as of late (which was very unusual) but not so close to our neighborhood. He even showed us a picture he had taken on his phone just minutes before he encountered us. He gave us a friendly warning and was on his way.
Dana and I walked along a few more steps and decided we should probably head back home just incase the bear crossed our path and decided to be neighborly. The more we conversated about the possibilities of this big grizzly (ok, maybe it was a medium-sized black bear) actually visiting us, we gained a little more pep in our step. (A dog is one thing but a bear?) I'd rather witness him from the window inside my house, thank you. Having fear but trusting God anyway is one thing, but a healthy fear comes from listening to God through warnings from strangers...in a truck...with a photo...don't you think?
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." (2 Tim. 1:7)
We should not operate in a mindset of fear that keeps us tied up in knots not wanting to live life as God has set before us. He encourages us throughout scripture to be brave and courageous in the Lord (2 Tim. 2:1). He tells us to be strong by His mighty power (Eph. 6:10). He says to, "Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong." (1 Cor. 16:13)
So girls, when you come upon the "bears" of this life know that God goes before you. He makes a way and will guard you. He loves you with a god-sized love and He will send warnings to you to help you as you travel. He gives us power and love and a sound mind. We should exercise those qualities daily. Be steadfast in your faith and listen for His direction so that you aren't trampled by those "big furry creatures" we come against in our life.
"God is my strength and power, and He makes my way perfect." (2 Sam. 22:33)
I love you & He loves you more!
Lord, I will walk in my faith in You and You alone. Help us as we live our lives with a strong and courageous trust in You and a healthy fear in keeping close by Your side so that we will know when we come upon a "bear". I love you. Amen.
Originally posted on 4/13/2020