The Bear’s Newfound Den

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 6
All summer and autumn the black bear had feasted on berries, roots, nuts and fish. Food had been plentiful, and the bear had put on layers of fat. Now he looked like a giant round ball of fur with his roly-poly belly.
The golden days of autumn faded away, and in their place December came with its winds, ice and snow. As food became difficult to find, a sluggishness came over the big black bear. What he searched for now was a dry, dark, protected place where he could curl up and sleep the winter away. He wandered throughout the forest and could not find what he was looking for. However, at the edge of the woods he found what seemed to be the opening of a small cave. As he peered through the opening, it must have looked like a suitable den. Crawling inside, he curled up into a ball and soon fell peacefully into a deep sleep.
Bears are not true hibernators. If they are disturbed, they can be awakened out of their deep sleep, whereas true hibernators, like marmots, cannot be awakened.
The bear had actually made a poor choice for a den for his winter's snooze. You see, he had found his way into the crawl space under the front porch of a house near the town of Effort, Pennsylvania!
The next morning two grade school boys ran out the front door of the house to play in the snow. They were in such a hurry to get outside that they slammed the door behind them. Tappity-tap-tap went their footsteps down the steps, right over the bear's newly found den. Thankfully, the bear didn't wake up. The two boys made snowballs and tossed them back and forth, yelling and laughing as they played in the snow. Good thing the bear was a sound sleeper!
While playing, one of the boys discovered the large paw prints the bear had left in the snow. The two of them followed the trail to the opening of the crawl space under their front porch. They stuck their heads in to take a look. When their eyes became accustomed to the darkness, they saw the sleeping bear. The alarmed boys ran into the house and breathlessly told their dad what they had discovered.
Dad took a flashlight and looked in the crawl space for himself. Sure enough, the boys were right! A big black bear had made his winter den under their porch. Quickly and quietly they made their way back into the house, closed the door and locked it.
Once they were safely inside, do you think Dad told his two boys, "It's only a three hundred-pound bear sleeping under the porch. You can go on running around outside and playing in the snow. Don't worry about his sharp claws and teeth or waking him up"?
No, of course not. He realized the great danger the bear presented to everyone. For the dad to ignore the danger would have been unthinkable.
Yet a good number of people, when they hear of God's warning against sin, are doing the unthinkable-they are continuing on with their lives as if there were nothing to fear. The Bible solemnly states, "The wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:2323For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)). Unless a sinner comes to the Lord Jesus to be saved from the punishment he deserves, God will justly bring every sinner into judgment. "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Heb. 9:2727And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (Hebrews 9:27)). The judgment of all sinners who never turn to the Savior will be terrible. When they die, they will be sent away to a place of never-ending suffering and punishment called hell. The Bible warns that "these shall go away into everlasting punishment" (Matt. 25:4646And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Matthew 25:46)).
Sin has a terrible price tag attached to it. Those who ignore the results of their sins and go on carelessly with their lives as if all is well will end up paying the price for their sins forever.
When the father of the house discovered there was a bear under the porch, he did the sensible thing. He called the state wildlife authorities to come and remove the slumbering though dangerous creature.
The sensible thing to do when you are warned that you are a sinner is to come to the Lord Jesus who is mighty to save. "Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Acts 2:2121And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Acts 2:21)). His blood shed at the cross has the power to wash away your stains of sin once and forever. "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:77But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)).
In the entire universe there is no other way for a guilty sinner to have his sins removed than through the blood of Jesus Christ. Don't pass through another day as if all is well with you when you are still in your sins and are a stranger to the Savior who loves you. Instead, tell Him today that you know you are a sinner and accept the salvation He lovingly offers you.