Bears on the Trail
Several years ago, on our return trip from a long, leisurely hike, we spied two bear cubs off the path, tearing through a fallen tree trunk. They paid no attention to us; they were so busy, noses buried far into the tree.
John stopped me and put a finger to his lips so I wouldn’t say a word. I looked around, and the trail appeared to be clear of any other humans. First, I thought, “how cute” the babies; my next thought, “Mama is around here, somewhere close,” too close, I was sure.
I said to John, “Let’s don’t walk past them; let’s turn around.”
He reminded me that turning around would take us to a dead-end, a deep precipice—there was no going around, only through.
Was I afraid? No, I was panicked! We would have to walk by slowly—not breathing—past the cute cubs and pray that Mama didn’t notice us. I sucked in my breath, prayed, and took a few steps toward the clearing that led to our cabin.
The babies didn’t move, and Mama didn’t appear.
We made it to the clearing quietly and slowly. Whew, I don’t ever want to go through that again!
That was years ago—almost another lifetime ago. That memory came to me today as a reminder that while threats can seem too close for comfort at times, only walking through a situation confident in our faith and trust in Christ gives us safety and security.
We couldn’t stay frozen on the path and wish the bears would go away, and we couldn’t go back. We needed God’s protection, wisdom, and courage to take the first steps toward safety.
It is fear (anxiety and worry) that paralyzes me, making me want to turn around and go back to the dead end. It is that fear that will take me out if I don’t stand in God’s courage and take the small steps toward my destination (destiny).
The courage that leads to action—small steps—forward and focused on God for protection and guidance in every scary situation of life brings the assurance for the uncertain, unstable days ahead.