You know that feeling when your child has been treated unkindly or unfairly by another child. Mama Bear is awakened; ears perked, claws pop out like a werewolf… one by one. Make that an adult an you can add sharp, pointy teeth positioned with an attack stance. Mama Bear on the lookout for her cubs – and you better stay clear.
That is one example of how I felt this week. I literally prayed to Jesus, “Jesus, Mama Bear is angry, my claws have popped out and I need You to pop them back in place, one by one. Help me, Lord!”
See, when someone messes with the Mama Bear’s cubs, it’s only natural that she retaliate. That she attack. That she protect her babies. She is doing the only thing she knows. Both Mama Bear animals and Mama Bear ‘humans’ have the tendency to react the same way. Again, it’s only natural. The difference between the Mama Bear animal, and the Mama Bear ‘human’, especially one that is a Christian, is that while it’s only natural to want react that way, in the flesh, we have the Holy Spirit living in us and we’re called to live by the Spirit. “Do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Rom. 8:4.
I wish I could say that was my only battle with my flesh this past week… other battles include (but not limited to) being overly sensitive to a meaningless comment, being frustrated, being impatient, being critical, being anxious and worrisome… to name a few. Being on the front lines of these flesh-battles have caused me to cry out to God for His help, His Spirit to give peace, His forgiveness for my pride, His work in my life. He has answered my prayer and is doing a work in me (notice I didn’t say has done… it’s a work in progress, ya’ll). In Christ, I am FREE from sin (Rom. 8:4) and can put on the “mind-set of the Spirit (that) is life and peace” (Rom. 8:6).
I picture the bear that is full of the Spirit is a Teddy Bear :); warm, soft, snuggly, ready to love on whoever comes near. I want to be a Teddy Bear, filled with the fruit of His Spirit, not a Mama Bear living in the flesh – ready to tear at the flesh of another. Help me, Jesus!