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The Bear, The Bridge, and God

A couple of weeks ago my dad sent me a great e-mail about a bear that happened to get into a very bad predicament.  Here is the general gist:

A bear was frightened by a motorist.  It ended up jumping off the side of the bridge where it hung by its nails until it scrambled up onto a ledge. Unfortunately, no one could rescue the bear that night so the bear ended up falling asleep on the ledge.  Rescuers saved the bear the next day.

At the end of the email it had the moral of the bear’s story (paraphrased):

Sometimes when you are in a bad, seemingly impossible situation the only thing you can do is rest (be still) and let God do what needs to be done!

When I read that email I was clearly able to picture the bear hanging by its nails.  I’ve had a couple of those ledge and nail experiences in my life.  Those times when I wondered if I was going to make it through the next moment…much less the next day.  As I am sure all of you know hanging from a ledge is not a comfortable place to be in life.  In fact, at times it can be down right terrifying.

One of those times, was the day I was sitting in the Neurologists office when he told me that I had had a stroke at the age of 32.  I felt like the room was closing in on me as his words reverberated in my skull.  My palms got sweaty.  I could feel my heart beat increase.  My tongue felt thick in my mouth.  I don’t think I was able to form coherent words for quite a few minutes.  All I knew was that I was panicked at his pronouncement.  I felt like I was hanging from a ledge that overhung a deep ravine.

I could have learned a lesson from that bear the day of my diagnosis.  Since there was no visible way for the bear to get off the ledge to the valley below it did the only thing it could do…it rested (was still).  The rescuers arrived in the morning rescuing the bear from its insurmountable plight.

Looking back, I wish that I had known the day I got the diagnosis that it was one of those times when I needed to simply “be still” and know the Lord – trusting that He would rescue me from the problem.  Sitting there in that office there was nothing I could do to change the fact that I’d had a stroke. Panicking, crying, and/or screaming weren’t going to help me at that moment of diagnosis.  (Although, I did 2 out of 3 that day.)  There was nothing wrong with me expressing myself the way I did, but I didn’t feel one iota better after panicking or crying.  My diagnosis was still that I’d had a stroke at the base of my skull on both sides of my brain.

When things are overwhelming in our life it is sometimes best to hit the pause button.  Take some time to sit quietly before the Lord being still in prayer.  This is not always an easy thing to do.  But it is often the best action to take in order to discover the next step that should be taken.  If you are currently hanging to a ledge by your nails I encourage you to visit the Glennon House.  You may come for prayers and/or to simply sit in one of prayer rooms quietly being still with the Lord.

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