Bear Escapes a Forest Fire

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Nothing is more terrifying to wild animals living in the woods than a forest fire. A forest fire is never tame. In dry conditions, it can grow to a gigantic size in minutes. Swept along by strong winds, the fire can travel much faster than men or animals can run. And its flames have the power to destroy everything in its path.
A fire like this broke out in the Bitterroot Mountain Range in Montana. A large brown bear, usually afraid of nothing, had to run for his life! Soon his sides were heaving, his mouth was dry, and he was exhausted. Sparks from the fire were falling like rain around him, but his panic made him keep running. The bear seemed to know that if he stopped, he would die.
In his panic, the big bear ran through a logging camp. Usually bears avoid anything having to do with humans, but now with the fire roaring behind him, nothing else mattered as he raced ahead in front of it. The men from the logging camp were running in panic too. The bear bumped into one. Both the bear and the man stumbled... then quickly got back on their feet and kept running.
A short distance away on the other side of the camp was a shallow mountain stream. In most places it was only ankle deep, but here and there were spots a little deeper. The bear was going to run through the stream, but when he stumbled into one of the deeper places, he decided to stay. Some of the logging men were lying down in the water too. The foreman of the camp, not seeing the bear, jumped into the same spot as the bear. The fire reached the stream, and red, hot flames quickly jumped the stream and burned the tall, dry, evergreen trees on both sides.
When the foreman felt something move behind him, he thought it was another logger. Turning around, he discovered it was a bear! Together they waited in the water until the fire had burnt itself out all around them. Then without a backwards glance, the bear trotted away.
Doubtless many animals perished in the forest fire that day. But the bear found a place of refuge in a pool of water and shared it with a man. It was unusual for a bear in the wild to remain near a human for so long.
Have you found a refuge in the Lord Jesus Christ from the penalty of your sins? He wants every boy and girl to come to Him and trust in Him, that they might receive the forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life. Nobody deserves to receive these wonderful gifts, because we are all guilty sinners. But in love and mercy towards you and me, the Lord Jesus died on the cross for the sins of every person who will receive Him as Savior. "We ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us" (Titus 3:3-53For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 4But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (Titus 3:3‑5)).
Sadly, disobedience, hate, foolishness and envy are found in the heart of every one of us. They are also things that God in His holiness must judge. In love and mercy, the Lord Jesus came and took the punishment for the sins of all those who would afterward believe on Him. He did this on the cross. Once a sinner is saved, whether he is young or old, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in his heart. The work of the Holy Spirit is to make us more and more like our blessed Savior.
Won't you let the Lord Jesus be your refuge by accepting Him as your Savior right now? "Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:1515That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:15)).