As parents to nine and grandparents to one, we do not often get to slip away together for an outing. Yet, a few days ago, we found ourselves a wide open door to escape! So we did; even if we had to take two different cars in order to fit the outing in and be efficient with the rest of the days agenda.
It was a warm summer morning. I took the new civic and my husband followed in our family van as we meandered up the street hopeful and eager for a delicious breakfast that neither of us would have to cook. Our home church is up the street and as we approached the new building I saw that one of our ladies was out planting flowers in our new garden area. As I passed by the church, I caught a dark blurr out of the corner of my eye. Glancing up in my rear view mirror, I saw the unexpected.
A very large, adult black bear was lumbering out of the wooded area and was beginning to cross the street; I thought, “aw totally cool!” I saw that my husband had to stop the van to allow the bear his space. But, I also saw too that the gardener, only about 20 feet away from this dark beastly creature, was totally unaware of what was going on. Totally oblivious!
I quickly turned my little civic around and headed quickly back toward the gardener, aiming to act as a buffer between the woman and the bear. The black bear smartly assessed the situation and as I approached, he turned around and slowly but decidedly, went back into the woods from where he came.
I called out to the gardener and told her what had just unfolded just a few feet from her and her eyes grew wide with astonishment and out of her mouth came a yeow(!) and an are you kidding me laugh. She admittedly said she had no clue. I warned that she should be on the alert and to be careful. She thanked me and my husband for stopping, and we went on our way.
The entire episode reeked of the warning in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” I reflected how we can be just like the gardener, oblivious, and totally unaware because we busy ourselves in our day to day things and do not pay attention to the spiritual dangers around us. Verse 9a continues on, ” Resist him, standing firm in the faith…” Admittedly, our cars were weak symbols of resisting and standing, yet they did the trick in scaring off the black bear. As believers, we have God’s Word given to us to equip us to resist and stand firm against the evil one who is constantly prowling; looking especially for those of us who have claimed a relationship with Jesus. We are an even tastier treat for the devil if he can succeed in devouring us.
And so, as I drove off and continued on my merry way, I could not help but listen to the Spirit that reminded me that when we least expect it, the devil prowls close by (the bear) and we better be paying attention (unlike the gardener). Yep, continue on in study of the Scriptures and keep our heads up (heed the warning in 1 Peter)!
In the end, my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our morning adventure and devoured a most delicious breakfast as we mused at the awesomeness of God’s creatures and the lessons that always come forth when we open the eyes of our hearts.