Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Black Bear, Private Eye, Inc.

"Oh my gosh, there's a bear!....There's a bear....there's a bear..."

I was apparently the only one of the four of us (Husband Brian, Psycho Dog, aka Foxy, and Normal Dog, aka Lucy) who saw it.  We were moving upwards on a seemingly well-traveled double track path (although we did not pass anyone on our way), when we came to a "fork in the road."  The trail markers told us to bear to the left (excuse my pun).  But ambling down the other path, which went straight, was a black bear.

Now, black bears are common in the woods of New Jersey, and are, apparently, not harmful.  They scare easily and all you need to do is make a lot of noise.  They're like snakes...and mice that you find in your home...and big hairy jumping wood spiders..."They're more afraid of you than you are of them."  Yeah, right! Just HOW, exactly does anyone know that?  I've heard that for years and I often wonder who goes about measuring fear quotients in mice, hairy jumping wood spiders, bears, and people! At that moment, I'd venture to say my fear quotient was matching, if not exceeding that of the bear, since I noticed him before he noticed me and I had longer to be afraid, thus raising my fear quotient.

At any rate, here comes this bear and how is it that I was the ONLY one who noticed it?  Aren't dogs supposed to have a keen sense of smell?  Why didn't they smell it?  What world was Brian in that he didn't see this big black thing coming toward us?  I mean, the thing was only 10 feet away...ok, it was probably 100 feet away, but it may as well have been 10 feet!

I made my announcement rather quietly because I didn't want to startle anyone.  And because I was so scared, that only a small voice came out! And I guess I forgot the making noise rule.  I thought if we remained quiet he might not see us.  After about 15 minutes, which was actually about 5 seconds, but felt much longer, the bear saw us, stopped and retreated.  Brian caught a glimpse of it as we were making our left turn and the bear was putting it in reverse.  The dogs never even knew he was there!

I kept looking over my shoulder to see if Mr. Bear was following us, as if, A) He would actually follow the trail to do so, and B) He was a murderous being with a vendetta against humans.  I knew it was ridiculous, but nonetheless, I kept peering behind me (remember, I'm the one who always brings up the rear?).  I kept  feeling like I was being followed.  Black Bear, Private Eye, Inc....spying on the Flahertys and reporting their route back to Bear Headquarters.

The Word of God has a lot to say about fear-it tells us to fear not, for I am with you (Isaiah 41:9). To put our trust in the Lord, because He has given us not a spirit of fear, but one of power, love and a sound mind. (1Tim 1:7). I have given you the authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you (Luke 10:18-20).  It actually mentions bears too!  David killed bears and lions with a slingshot. (I didn't have one of those with me, but I do carry a bear whistle now).

Did you get that picture of Black Bear, Private Eye, Inc?  Well, satan is a bit like Black Bear.   He may try to follow us, to taunt us, to destroy us. He sends his minions and demons out to spy on us-they hide behind the trees along the path of this thing we call life and entice us, quietly reminding us of our shortcomings, faults and sin--like those creepy trees in the Wizard of Oz. They report back to Black Bear Inc. Headquarters, where satan sits in his corner office, The Chief Operating Officer, pondering his importance and power over the world. He sends them out again:  "Follow the Flahertys.  See where they go. Mix up the trail signs.  Cause them to go deeper off the path, into the dark woods of their souls. Do not bother me again until you have succeeded."

But here's the thing.  He is more afraid of us than we need to be of him.  He should be.  When we have the Spirit of God living in us, satan is defeated. The name of Jesus causes him to stop and put it in reverse. The path we follow is the one that Jesus walked before us.  The one that the Lord has set before us.   Do not turn to the right or the left.  Keep your foot from evil (Proverbs 4:27).  God is fighting for us.

Corporations fail.  Corporations fall.  Satan may think that he has an impressive corner office right now-he is the king of this earth, after all.  But one day his corporation will fail.  It will fall. It will collapse when the Prince of Peace, Jesus the Messiah returns to rule and reign. Until then, we have been given the authority to push back the darkness by calling on the Name of Jesus. It's as simple as that.

So when the tauntings come, when the accusations come (all of which sound an awful lot like our own voice in our own heads), when the trials come, we need only call on the name of Jesus.   Black Bear Inc. will not prevail.

Still, bring a bear whistle with you when you go in the woods.

Blessings along the path,

You MUST listen to this awesome song!!!
Darlene Zschech: In Jesus' Name

Trail map and information about the Cooper Mill/Black River Trail (yes, BLACK River)
Cooper Mill Trail, Chester, NJ

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