Bears and Fear

I saw a bear this morning. Every morning I walk the dog to the creek. Fresh cup of coffee in hand, sun not yet up over the ridge, cool mountain air. A perfect morning to stroll down the hill. Low and behold, a big brown bear was walking up the hill to greet Brownie and me. It was 50 yards away.

Fear leaped into my throat, but I didn’t run. Instead, I pulled out my phone and recorded the bear. I could tell it was spooked, more afraid of me than me of it, a non-aggressive bear more interested in trash than male flesh. Instead of running, I recorded it on my camera.

Should I have run? Judge me if you want, but I was thoroughly enjoying this morning’s walk.

I returned to my porch (everyone’s still asleep at 6:00 am). I recorded some more, my heart pounding, watching this big brown bear run around in the brush oak behind our shed. The dog by then caught scent and barked off the bear. The excitement was over.

Now here’s the cool part of my morning. I cracked open my Bible for a morning devotional. Psalm 2 was queued up on my Bible Gateway software:

“Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling.”

Okay, God. You’ve got my attention. What are you showing me?

Granted, I’m not in rural Alaska and that bear was not a Kodiak or grizzly. But I had a fear and trembling in me when I saw that bear. Not the kind that causes you to turn and flee, but more of a hunter fear, the trembling “buck fever” that shoots through you when you meet the wild face-to-face. And within the trembling, I admit: I find joy. It is thrilling, unsafe, dangerous.

There are plenty of verses that speak of refuge and harbor, “deliver me from evil,” including danger. God didn’t have me turn to those verses this morning. Come to think of it, I seldom have conviction to pray for danger to go away. It has been to engage it and overcome it, a challenge to be met. Life happens, and when risk happens to greet me in my path, I actually enjoy the encounter.

My business right now requires some big decisions to be made. Wendy and I have huge plans in the next month. Our children–all 15 of them–have individual needs to be met. So little time, so little direction, and I feel like I’m making up things as I go. Risk and uncertainty is everywhere, and if I’m not careful, fear could cripple me. It could rob me of joy.

How should I continue through the challenges of life God has in front of me?

Answer: continue to serve. Serve my wife, my children, the families in ministry and business. And serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling.

About Chris & Wendy Jeub

The Jeub Family live in Monument, Colorado. They encourage couples to love God and love one another, building an atmosphere of love in their homes.

  • JAC

    This was encouraging to me, at a time of financial struggle. I have prayed today for God to bless and guide your family. Thanks for all that you do.

  • MLJ

    Thanks for this message. I have been struggling with many time challenges of late, worrying about getting everything done before the newest baby joins us and the kids go back to school. Things just seem to be “fighting” us. It is easy to get discouraged. I will try to look at this as a challenge to be met.