Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bears And Phones

I have found that recently I have fallen into the trap of judging my days according to circumstances rather than simply knowing the sufficiency of Christ who is over all circumstances. Accordingly, God, I believe, has sent two incidents to remind me that He is still in control and that if I love Him, I can trust Him. From the title of this blog you probably have guessed that these incidents involve bears and phones.
First, the bear. It was at the end of our church’s Daily Vacation Bible School week. By all our standards it had been a very successful week. The truth of the Body of Christ having many members with different gifts was borne out as church members used their individual gifts to fill every need. Each night children came and a clear presentation of the Gospel was given and received. On Tuesday night while returning home from the church, a bear cub tried to out race our car. He couldn't nor could we avoid him. When I got out to check him, he lifted his head and a snort from the woods reminded me his mother was not far away and not happy with my presence. I decided wisely not to linger. As I returned to the car (rather hurriedly) I thought how things were fine after all. The cub scurried away, there was no significant damage to the car. VBS was going well. Life was good. Then Friday came. VBS went okay. Some key helpers were not able to be there, but we were able to cover things and the demanding week was over. We had much to be thankful for. Then the bear…This time it was not a cub. It came out of the blackness of the night, and as the cub a few nights before, was trying to outrace the car. There was no time to swerve. There was impact. I soon learned a few things that I hadn’t noticed before.

First, bears bounce. When we looked back the bear was gone. Second, it is hard to explain how a bear hit your car to an insurance company representative (“No, I did not hit a deer [that was two years ago]… it was a bear not a racoon… we did not hit it, it ran into us… No, bears are faster than you think”). Third, when a full-sized bear hits a compact car in its side, it will do more damage to the car than to the bear. Fourth, having rental coverage on your auto insurance comes in handy. Fifth, hitting a bear tends to put a definite damper on your day. Suddenly, the blessings of the week seemed overshadowed by this latest circumstance in my life. However, I knew the car would be repaired and we would be responsible only for our deductible. Things were not too bad.

Then, the phone… Not a regular phone, but one needed for my wife to work from home. She has commuted for a year (one and a half hours each way) to a job that promised the opportunity to work from home. The time had finally come, the internet connection was enabled, but the phone did not work despite our best efforts. More commuting will be necessary until a new phone is successfully installed. What a disappointment. A friend, in passing, asked how I was doing that day and I related the story of the phone. Once again, I was allowing circumstances overshadow my whole day.

Some of you may be asking what’s the point to all this. After all, you have faced situations much worse than a dented car or a few more days of a lengthy commute. If not, you undoubtedly know someone who has.  Yet the Bible in The Song of Solomon 2:15 mentions that it is the little foxes that spoil the vine. It is little things that get our eyes off our heavenly Father and on to our selves more so sometimes than the major events in our lives. We become satisfied with how things are, but we forget Who is really in control. We forget that God is God and we are not. We proclaim our worship and praise for Him, but fail to trust Him for the little things in our lives. We fail to recognize the sin of not loving God enough to trust Him.

The car will get fixed. The phone, well, that is pending. I pray for the grace to trust God in all these things. He is faithful, and while things don’t always work out the way we expect or desire them to, Romans 8:28 still rings true. All things do work together for good for those who are in Christ. Lord, help me to love you enough to trust you in every thing.


  1. Good perspective. Sometimes we can really get defeated by the little things and forget that God is good and in control, no matter the current circumstance.