Bear-Hugging A Potbelly Stove

Sunday morning, our preacher told the story of a bear. A group of hunters were staying in a cabin in the woods. When they went out to hunt for the day, they left a fire burning in the potbelly stove in the cabin. Shortly after the hunters left, a bear broke into the cabin. The bear saw the glowing fire coming from the stove and immediately thought it was a predator and attacked the stove. It wrapped its arms around the stove and was burned badly, but the bear did not let go. The bear thought the stove was fighting back, so he held on tighter and tighter, until it there was no way the bear would ever recover. The bear was unable to recognize that the stove was actually hurting him. He didn’t realize that if he just let go, he would be okay.

This little story made me take a hard look at my potbelly stoves. What am I holding on to that continues to hurt me but I am too stubborn to let go? The safety of the things that hurt me is sometimes easier to process than letting go for the unknown. As Christians, we are not promised an easy life. We are promised, however, that God will always take care of us and he will take our burdens from us.

God knows every fiber of our being. He knows what our troubles are and what we are holding on to; so why doesn’t he just take them from us without us asking for help? Asking God for help letting go of the stove will help you develop a deeper faith. It also will help others see the wonderful grace of God. Seeing someone find their strength in Christ is a wonderful way to give others the confidence to trust completely in God. In order to obtain the peace that we all want so much, we have to bring all of our troubles to the Lord in prayer. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

Letting go of what you know is hard. It feels sometimes easier to live with what is hurting you than to take that leap of faith and let go of what burdens are weighing you down. God wants us to trust in Him enough to take that leap. Letting go of everything that is keeping us from having full faith in God. As Christians, we should have full confidence that God will take care of us. “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

I urge you to let go of the potbelly stove that is burning you. Let go of all that is harming you and keeping you from the love and grace of God. Letting go will bring you closer to God and will help others around you come to know Christ.

This week’s recipe is an easy tomato bisque. It is so much better than the condensed stuff in the can and everyone will love it! Serve it with a simple green salad or a gooey grilled cheese sandwich. Either way, you can’t go wrong!

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:7-11