The Honk Around Canada Day Parade was over and seeing as it was such a lovely day, I decided to take the dogs for a run.
I loaded my three-year-old granddaughter into the stroller, gathered up the dogs and away we went. As we were walking Ade asked several times if we could go down to the lake. A grizzly had been sighted in that area a few weeks ago, but there had been no further reports, so I said, okay, we would go.
Upon arrival at the beach, I stood and had a good look around but saw nothing, so I gave her the okay to head for the water. The dogs went with her. I sat myself down on a big log to watch. It was then that I looked over to my right and saw the grizzly approximately 200 feet away. It had just come out of some bushes and had walked onto a large flat expanse of rock. It turned and stood watching us.
We were downwind of it, so it had obviously smelled us, but had gone undetected by the dogs. I stood up immediately and told Ade that the grizzly bear was here and she must come NOW and get into stroller.
Interestingly enough, even though she did not see the bear, Ade responded quickly, though at any other time there would have been crying and an argument or at least diddling about. And the dogs came too, even though I did not speak to them. Glancing one more time to the right, I saw the bear still standing watching. I moved away at a steady but calm pace until the bear was out of sight and then I ran as fast my legs would carry me!
Needless to say, we will not be heading to that area of the shore again this summer. The bear has obviously staked its’ stomping ground out and to not flee from its’ territory would be nothing short of foolish.
This encounter drew my thoughts to the following scriptures: “Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22 NIV)
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV)
Temptation comes to all of us, young and old. But what we do, about it, when it comes to bear on our lives makes the difference between a good or a bad outcome within the situation.
If I had decided to stay at the beach, hoping the bear would move on, instead of moving away calmly, quickly and with a firm step, I may not have been here to write this devotional. My beautiful grandchild might not be playing happily in the yard. And my marvelous canines might not be basking in the evening sun.
Likewise, when the danger of temptation sidles up beside us, we must do as God says, we are to do, if we want to move through the situation safely. God says: flee. He also states: he will provide a way out so that we can stand up under it, so look for it and take it.
Temptation, in whatever form it takes, is not something to trifle with, not if we value the pursuit of righteousness, faith, love and peace.
So today, may we each consciously choose to bear in mind, that when we encounter the bear of temptation in our lives, we need to calmly but firmly and quickly, put the truth of God’s word into action and vamoose.
Prayer: Father God, thank You that You provide for us in the face of temptation and have given sound advice as to how to proceed the minute we encounter it. Bless each of us with strength and determination to follow Your advice that we might be safe from the danger of sin and all the consequences that come with it. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.