The Bears

November 18, 2018
by Lynne Phipps

Hebrews 13:3 – Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. (NIV)

The first time I saw the mother grizzly and her three cubs, I remember thinking what a privilege it was to see such a wonder of nature. The next time I heard about them, I had very different thoughts. This time, they were not out in the bush, miles from town; they were only a few hundred yards from my house. The mama bear had brought them to town, and then within a short time, had kicked them out. Once the cubs are two years old, it is time for them to get out on their own. So, we had three young grizzlies wandering up and down the roadway, which included standing in front of our home one evening with our livestock only a fence away.

Due to the extreme danger of three young grizzlies so close by, it meant keeping the driveway gates closed and chained as well as having to stay home. My walks to town with my granddaughter in her stroller and our forays through the bush trails with the dogs all had to be curtailed. Even our outside time on the property meant keeping a close and constant watch until this unwelcome and fearsome trio decided to move along, for a fence and gates are mere nuisances for a grizzly.

During these several weeks of boring and somewhat fearful confinement, the Lord brought to my mind those who are suffering from the bear of persecution for their faith. How difficult it must be to be confined to jail or under house arrest and ill-treated, especially for doing good to others by spreading the Word of God and the love of Christ. How frightening it must be for those who must worship in underground churches and keep their faith a secret for fear of persecution and even death if they were to be discovered. Suddenly, having to be confined to my own home and property due to a bear scare was pretty insignificant when compared to what some of God's children are called to bear.

So today, may we choose to remember our brothers and sisters in Christ who are being persecuted or spending time in prison, as if we were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if we ourselves were suffering, that our prayers may be used by our heavenly Father to continue to strengthen and encourage them in their faith and the everlasting hope which is ours in Christ Jesus.

Prayer: Father God, strengthen and encourage Your people who are suffering from the bear of persecution for their faith and hope in Christ Jesus. May the light of Christ shine brightly in their lives amidst the horrors and pain that they are being called to bear. May their suffering not be in vain for the kingdom of heaven. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Lynne Phipps <lynnephipps@hotmail.com>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Very good thoughts Lynne.


    Thank you, Lynn. A good reminder.


    Thank you, Lynn, well said. God bless!


    So thankful that we, here in Canada, enjoy the freedom to attend our individual churches.


    It never ceases to amaze me how you can take a story of deadly Grizzly bears and turn it into a beautiful message of faith and caring. Thank you.
    (Texas)


    What a story. And a beautiful insight.
    My worries about cash flow and mail strike pale in comparison.
    Thank you, Lynne, as always.


    Hello Lynne. Well, that was quite an experience you had with the visiting bears! I do hope you now have the freedom to walk the roads and woods once more. Thanks for sharing this devotional today. Much food for thought!
    (Ontario)


    Lynne, thank you for this vivid reminder of God’s care through Christ Jesus. We see bear around here, too. Black bear bulking up for winter can be as destructive as Grizzly. They’ve been known to rip down cabin walls to get to the food stored inside. Again, thanks for sharing. Blessings.


    Thank you for your devotional.
    I have a totally different perspective on this. Man has made it difficult for wildlife to exist in their habitat. Man is always wanting to move closer to nature but feel encroached upon when nature comes to close to them.
    People can be imprisoned by many different things.


    I really enjoyed the story about the bears and yes, how it related to not being able to be free just spread the good news.
    We are so privileged to be able to go to church and church like gatherings freely and come home afterwards, praying also for the ones who cannot share our experience.
    God bless.


    Hi Lynne,
    Thanks for another interesting and meaningful devotional. Comparing the fear of the invasion of the grizzly bears with the fear and persecution many face for their devotion to Christ from rebellious non-believers is a good way of expressing it.
    Blessings,
    (B.C.)


    O Lynne, reading what could be seen as just another story of your life today continued to bless MY life. Woke up with a feeling of being ‘prayed for,’ at a time when it really was needed in connection with sharing my faith. Your stories resonant profoundly not least in their truth and simplicity. Thank you for your faithfulness in seeing God’s hand in your days and passing it on to the rest of us.


    Shalom.
    I would love to see a grizzly! We have had black bears in our yard, but nothing like a grizzly! Our biggest problems are wolves and coyotes. The Condominium Conservationists in large cities have demanded laws to protect these “magnificent animals” which they have only seen in Toronto Zoo. If they saw some of the decimated carcasses that wolves leave in farmers’ fields, they might change their minds!
    Blessings to you, and those you love.


    Dear Lynne,
    Such a good devotional this morning. Thank you. It’s so sad the persecution of Christians hardly, if ever, gets media attention but the final points and scores different sport teams make or the outfits celebrities wear on the red carpet are major news. Very sad, but then again, I guess we can’t expect the world to care. May we, God’s people be more mindful and as your devotional impresses upon us To Pray For Those Suffering Persecution For Their Faith And Hope In Jesus Christ. Amen.


    This brought chills to my whole body, Lynne. I have a very healthy respect for bears. Their strength is formidable.
    I had a harrowing experience just a few short weeks ago due to flooding that forced us to vacate while recovery work was done. This experience made me more mindful of those around the world without homes, due to external factors over which they had no control. Initially, I went through a pity-party stage, bemoaning our bad fortune. I quickly became mindful that my expulsion from our home was temporary, but for many living in a refugee camp is their daily reality.
    All this to say, it usually takes an extraordinary event in our lives to make us thankful for what we have, where we live and for God’s ongoing provision for us, in all circumstances.
    I hope that the trio moved way out of your area; that your livestock remained safe; and that your routine of walking your little granddaughter has resumed without incident.
    I always enjoy your messages. I love the great outdoors. While reading your devotionals I enjoy a mental picture of your location as I read and contemplate God’s Word.
    Blessings and thanks,
    (ON.)


    Dear Lynne,
    A precious devotional culminating in your prayer.
    You made excellent double use of word “bear.”
    Keep writing.

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