Each year during this special season, I look for a greeting card with an animal on it that will inspire me to think about God’s nature and this one surely did. Bears are a symbol of power and might and in this respect, they are indeed like God. The Holy Spirit, known as “The Comforter” makes things “BEARable” that without Him would be “unBEARable.” Just like this bear has a fur coat and an added colorful sweater keeping him warm, we are clothed in warmth and love by God’s presence and His colorful ideas clothe our minds to inspire us.
And just like the lovable bear depicted, our GREAT ONE stoops down low to pay attention to us and we, like adorable little chickadees (some of us NOT so adorable) offer up presents and praise to Him. They look like chickadees to me, but to you??… My late husband, Dieter always called me his “little chickadee”, so these birds have a special place of endearment in my heart. Birds represent thoughts… winged thoughts that ascend and bring us “high.” The thoughts inspired by these little ones on this card are to “bless” and to “give”, touching hearts, even the ones that are “bearish.”
It seems the card I find each year goes along with something that God specifically has been working in me during the year and this one is no exception. The humble depicture of this bear makes him look like he could do no evil, but you and I know that bears are not kitty cats. We would not want to get too close to one, but in God’s kingdom, it’s different. When we walk in love, the wild beasts in nature and the ones that are within man can feel it. Truly, rendering good for evil has the power to change evil intentions.
When my son, Kip was taking pictures in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina some years ago, he thought he could quietly get a snapshot of a huge one that suddenly came in view. What he didn’t realize was that it was dusk, and his camera went into flash mode startling that unsuspecting bear. Up he rose and made a fearsome noise and it definitely looked like Kip would become His “minced”-meat. Yikes and more yikes, but God and His angels must have wrapped that bear in more than a sweater…. maybe a red (understanding) and white (righteousness) thinking cap steering him away from my son.
Now take a look at some sayings and idioms with “bear” in them which bring God and His ways to mind: We’re called to “bear our cross”, to “bear a hand”, to “bear fruit”, to “bear in mind”, to “bear the brunt”, to “bear witness to”, to “bear the burden”, to “bear up”, to “grin and bear it”, to be a bearer of good news”, to “be as busy as a bear in a beehive”, and most of all, to “bear a resemblance to HIM.”
“Bear” is used in words that describe law enforcers and enforcement that relay to God in His overseeing His laws: a “lady bear” is a female cop; a “bear trap” is a speed limit enforcement trap; and a “bear in the air” is a police officer in an aircraft.
Some interesting facts about bears that perhaps you didn’t know are: Their communication is in about seven or eight different “words”: huffs, chomps, roars, woofs, groans, growls, hums or barks with the most dangerous for humans being growls and roars, signaling a fearful or agitated bear defending its territory. Huffs come during mating and courtship seasons. Moans express anxiety or a sense of danger. In addition they can also chirp, honk, and bleat. Yes I did read that, although it’s hard to imagine a bear chirping, honking and bleating. However, I do know some bearish people who do.
Did you know that bears love munching moths?? I could have used a little bear cub, NOT a big guy, a couple of years ago when I was invaded by a huge swarm of unBEARAble pantry moths.
Bears can run 35 mph sustain speeds of 25 mph for 2 miles which is pretty impressive for being such large creatures. They are clever, remembering hot spots for food even if it’s been many years since they visited the area, … just like Ziggy, my son’s dog who makes “huff” sounds for food, NOT mates because he’s been fixed
Bears have great eyesight just like God does which allows them to detect when fruit is ripe.They have a great sense of smell, too, being able to discern food, cubs, a mate and predators from miles away. Oh that our spiritual smell and eyesight were as keen as theirs! Male and female black bears can not BEAR each other’s company except during breeding season… kinda like a few humans I know.
Bears are almost entirely solitary, a trait which is not at all like God who is always saying: “Come unto me!” The verb “bear” means “to support or carry.” That’s our Lord: the One Who supports and carries us. The word “child-bearing” speaks of God, too, who births us in the Spirit, trains us and bears us up on eagle’s wings.
And now I’d like to bring a last word of learning from the word “bear” to take home with you… It’s a word that has probably been one of the most difficult to put into practice, but one crucial for our well-being. As I mentioned before, the card with the animal or animals I’ve been led to each year has inevitably brought a picture of the character trait or traits God has been focused on developing in me and most likely in you, too.
God is “bearing down” on us to bring us into “perfection’ saying: “Do not “bear grudges”, but “bear all things with good cheer.”
May this be the year of “bear-ability”… of no more grudges but of peace on earth and good will toward men.
His “Bear-Witness”, Michele