The Bear

Thursday, June 5, 2014
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Listen while you read: "God Leads Us Along"1 (Lyrics)

Jonah 1:1-3 – The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: "Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me." But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord. (NIV)

We spotted them along the side of the roadway. They were year-old cubs. Their mother was nowhere in sight. There were two of them, and as they saw the van, they both began to run. One of them headed deep into the scrub. The other ran and hid behind a sapling. Thinking we could no longer see him, he tentatively peeked out from behind the scanty foliage. What a sight: this chubby black bear sticking out like a sore thumb from behind this skinny excuse for a tree, thinking that we couldn't see him. We both burst out laughing at this hilarious spectacle.

This remembrance has often caused me to wonder just how often God gets just such a kick out of watching me, as I, too, much like Jonah, run away from Him and what He has called me to do. I shrug off a command that I have read in Scripture. I turn away from a plea which I know I should answer. I decide to get serious about spiritual discipline later, not today; I'm too busy, or too scared, or simply not interested just now. I think that I can hide from God; He won't see; He won't know. What a laugh!

Jonah 1:4,15,17 – Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. But the Lord provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights. (NIV)

God knew where Jonah was every single minute. Jonah thought that he could hide, but he couldn't, and neither can we.

Am I, are you, attempting to hide from God today? If so, perhaps we should rethink our situation before God decides to take action and it's no longer a laughing matter.

Prayer: Father God, thank You that we cannot hide from You. Thank You that You know where we are every single moment and that Your patience and mercy are great amidst our foolishness. Help us to listen to You, to obey You, and to know that whatever it is that You are asking of us is for our good and not our woe. Bless us with courage to answer Your call before You need to take action to move us along. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Tawatinaw, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Wise as usual!!

    Amen! Thanks for writing to us. SHALOM!

    Well said Lynne. Another pertinent reminder.

    Thank you Lynne. These words I cherish. Blessings.

    Great analogy. Keep writing.

    Lynne – wish I could have been there to see the little cub that inspired your devotional. What a cute message with good spiritual application!

    Hi Julie
    What a delightful story! I could just picture the bear cub as it “hid” behind the sapling, sure it could no longer be seen! And even as it peeked around the young tree, and could most likely see you, it still doubtless convinced itself that “I can see you but you can’t see me!”
    I think that many times, we are very much like that bear cub and think we can “hide” from God…yet we cannot. Or we’re like Jonah, thinking God “won’t know” where we are and that we’re going our own direction instead of His. Even though we do know that God’s plans for us is always better than our own plans, being human, we still persist in trying to do things our way at times. And when we do, we just make things so much harder for ourselves unnecessarily!
    Your devotional is an excellent reminder that we are unable to hide from our Heavenly Father. He is ever-present, always there for us to lean upon and to help us when we ask. ‎He is our Comforter and Support for whenever we ask…and thankfully a very patient Father who lets us try our own way at times, then holds his arms open wide to us when we admit we need His help and run back to Him.
    Do continue to write your wonderful devotionals!
    God bless!

    Enjoyed your writing as always. Keep up the good work.

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