Unexpected Visitor

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Unexpected Visitor


We had the opportunity to take our annual family fall trip up to the mountains last week. This year marked the seventh year in a row for this particular place, where we stay in a wonderful house that is so comfortable and nice. Even though we don’t own it, we truly feel it is a home away from home. We enjoy the views of all the colorful leaves as we drive up through the mountains as well as around the house. We got settled in once we arrived and sat down in the family room for our first night of rest and relaxation. As we were sitting there visiting and, of course, watching Jordan run around playing, I began to hear some knocking on the outside of the house. There were only a few knocks every so often, but it got my curiosity up. It was dark and I tried looking out to try and see if there was something out there or if there was just a limb being blown by the wind that would knock against the house. I couldn’t see anything, so I sat back down. A little later I heard something again. I thought I might know what it was and wanted to look out thru the kitchen window. I turned all the inside lights off so there would be nothing glaring on my side of the glass. I turned on the light of my cellphone and sure enough, there was the culprit. Just outside of the kitchen window was the wooden trash bin. The previous guests had evidently not latched the lid down correctly and there just ten feet on the other side of that window was a full-grown black bear going through their trash. It was a little unnerving while at the same time being quite fascinating. I’ve never been that close to a wild bear, and I found myself relieved I was inside the house. The bear had lifted the heavy lid off that trash bin, lifted two plastic trash barrels out of the bin, and then pulled every bag out of each of those barrels in search of something to eat. I raised the window so I could see better which made a noise. The bear looked right at me and slammed his two front paws down on the ground as if to say, “Get back! This is my food!” Seemingly, the bear determined we were no threat and simply spent another thirty minutes slowly going through everything and eating whatever he could find, paying no attention to our lights or talking while watching him rummage through the garbage. I knew there were bears there and had even seen pictures of some in the yard around that house. But in all the previous years we had never seen one while being there. It was quite exciting. I found myself thinking several things about this bear. It was a beautiful creature with thick, black fur. It gave off a childlike innocence as it went through the trash not always knowing if one thing was something to eat or not. It seemed very content just sniffing and tasting. Eating was basically all that was on its mind. Still, this was a large animal that was very strong and powerful. I certainly respected it for that, yet it was almost like watching someone’s pet dog.


I remember my third-grade teacher, Mrs. Prince, saying on the first day in her classroom, “I can be nice, but I can also be mean as a bear.” I quickly made up my mind to never make her mad. I didn’t want to see her be mean as a bear, especially with me. Bears can maul and seriously hurt or even kill you. Then I thought about David when he was about to face Goliath. He told King Saul in 1 Samuel 17:34-37, “Your servant was tending his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I went out after him and attacked him, and rescued it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God. … The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” I can’t imagine fighting a bear with my own hands. I’ve always had respect for David, but after seeing this bear so close, my respect for him has grown. But notice who David gives the credit – the Lord. Even though David had the strength and ability to kill the bear, he knew it was the Lord who gave him that strength and ability.


We may not have to face a bear or a lion with our own bare hands, but we have to face a lot of battles in life that are just as threatening. We face financial stresses, pandemics, economic upheaval, protecting our family, providing for our children, difficult relationships and many other things in life that threaten us physically, emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually. But, we have to remember Whose we are. We have to remember Who will deliver us.


“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10


Bro. Paul Reed


Tuesday, November 9, 2021