We had driven over to Cade’s Cove to ride around the famed loop road late one evening. Our prayer had been that the Lord would provide a bear sighting for my sisters. And did He ever answer that prayer! We got to see, not one, but two bears – and one of these wound up being a little too close for comfort!
Below, you will see a set of pictures. I have only doctored them by placing small black dots over the bears when they were too far away from my phone camera so as not to be clearly discernible. Notice the sequence of events as what appears to be a yearling bear boldly makes his way up to where our vehicles were parked in the pull off provided for viewing beside the road.
After a minute or two, he walked right in between two parked vehicles and made his way across the road and off into the woods. All of this happened as if we were not even there.I have thought about that moment a lot. What emboldened this creature to approach us and to do this so swiftly? What gave him the courage and the confidence to go among us with little or no discernible fear? And after some reflection, I have concluded that the answer was there all along - off in the distance about 200 yards the whole time.
You see, that black dot in the back of each picture was Mama! And no doubt she kept her eyes on Junior the entire time! More to the point, she likely kept one eye on Junior and the other eye on us! And he seemed to sense this. He seemed to know instinctively that if he ever got in over his head, as it were, help was only a short distance away.
I was reminded of what the Apostle Paul told the members of the Areopagus at Mars Hill in Athens (Acts 17:27) when he said that if we will but reach out for God, we will find Him, for He is “not far from any one of us”. Indeed, both the Old Testament and the new Testament affirm the promise that the promises of God’s Word that He is near to us at all times! Both Deuteronomy 31:6 and Hebrews 13:4 tell us that God will never leave us, nor forsake us.
What is more, the Bible also tells us that God hears us when we cry out for Him. On multiple occasions (Psalm 34:17, 104:6, 104:19, etc…), the Psalmist tells us that those who cry out to the Lord in their in distress will be heard and then delivered from their troubles.
We have a popular saying these days. It occurs in various forms as “I got you, bro!” or “I got you, dog!” or, more commonly, “I’ve got your back!” But no matter how it is stated, it is simply a means of expressing the fact that one person is pledging to support another, especially in times when the individual needing support is in any way threatened.
What a blessing it is to have others support us. What a blessing to have others say (and demonstrate) to us that they have our backs! Where would any of us be without the love and support of other people?
And yet, the ultimate “I’ve got you, bro!” comes, not from an earthly brother or sister, but from a loving Heavenly Father! What a comfort! What an encouragement! To know that the God of this universe has pledged His undying love and support for us! If that does not give us the confidence to go boldly into this world each and every day, then I do not know what will!
I conclude with this prayer: “Thank you, Lord, for your show of support. May we be emboldened to go forth each and every day in the way you have for prepared for us. And may nothing that stands in our way ever override that God-given confidence. We pray these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Who has each of our backs for all eternity! Amen.”