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My daughter once told a friend of hers that I am a loving and kind person, but if anyone ever messed with someone I loved they would see “Mamma Bear” come out of me, and Mamma Bear wasn't always so nice. She was right in saying this. I am very protective of those I love. Whether they are my children, my family or people God has brought into my life that I love: it is in my nature to want to protect them from hurt and harm. I don’t like to see the people I love get hurt, or be hurt, and I do not like it when I see them hurting someone else. Despite all my efforts, in the past, if you hurt anyone I loved, “Mamma Bear” would come out of her cave with a fiery fury because you messed with one of her cubs.
This past week, unfortunately, “Mamma Bear” has wanted to make her presence known again. Someone I love is hurting, and everything in me right now wants to go and protect the one I love. However, the Lord is dealing with me about Mamma Bear. He is showing me how He wants me to handle what is happening, and He is asking me to trust Him through it all. This is hard because “Mamma Bear” is a part of the old me, and is still in me. Mamma Bear is a side of me that rushes out ahead of God, and He wants this protective nature of mine to be of Him and not of my flesh. In the past, Mamma Bear would come out in my flesh and chase after her cubs. She would growl and bite, and scare those who had tried to mess with her babies in anyway. She comes out with the sole intent to hurt those who are hurting the ones I love. However, the Lord is showing me that there is nothing wrong with wanting to protect those we love, but we also must be careful to not sin in the midst of our desire to protect.
He is showing me that being protective of those we love is not necessarily wrong, but in the midst of our desire to protect, we can sin if we are not careful, and we can walk in the flesh instead of in His Spirit. He calls us to care and love one another, even as we would love and care for our own selves. How many of us would protect ourselves if we were being attacked and hurt? All of us would. We would put up the defenses needed to protect ourselves from the blows that are coming at us. So for us to want to love and protect those we care for is not a bad thing. All of this that is happening has taken me back to a part of our study in the book of Acts. Something the Lord showed me in His Word that is helping me to keep Mamma Bear where she needs to be, quietly waiting to protect as the Lord leads me.
In Chapter 27 Paul and his friends are on board a ship headed for Rome. Right before they head out into the open seas, Paul warns the guard and the Captain that if they try to set sail they will end up losing the ship, and possibly, the very lives of everyone on board. Paul wants to protect those he loves. He wants to save them from the hurt and the loss that is going to take place if they do not heed his godly advice. Sometimes that is what happens, and unfortunately, that is what is happening to my loved one. They have been given godly advice; they have been warned that if these actions continue they will end up hurting everyone around them, and hurting themselves. But, much like the guard and the captain, they have chosen to not listen, and people I love are getting hurt.
“Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over, Paul advised them, saying, ‘Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives.’ Nevertheless the centurion was more persuaded by the helmsman and the owner of the ship than by the things spoken by Paul.” Acts 27:9-11
Paul was warning them that if they ventured out into the sea that nothing good would come of it, but they ventured out anyway. Paul was warning them, he was watching out for the lives ofeveryone onboard that ship, because he was a protector by nature too. God’s word tells us that we are to be watchmen that we are to be looking out for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:4) However, we must be doing this in His Spirit, and not our flesh. When we step out into the flesh and try to help someone because we see them headed down a wrong path, all our efforts will get us is resistance, and they will turn to someone else for counsel, maybe even ungodly counsel.
“So you, son of man; I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me.” (Ezekiel 33:7) God does want us watching out for those we love. He wants us to warn them of the errors of their ways and warn them of the consequences of their actions. But, as He tells us in Ezekiel, it is a warning that must come from Him, then and only then are we to step out and actually warn them. When Mamma Bear came out, it was not led by the Lord; it was led by my flesh. God had not asked me to go and warn them, and in the end I ended up hurting more than just myself, I ended up hurting many others in the process. More often than not, Mamma Bear only made the situation worse.
To be a watchman means that we watch out for others, we keep an eye on them. Protecting and loving those whom God has given us is not wrong. We should desire to love them and protect them; however, we must also do it within the operation of His Spirit and not our flesh. So how do we do this then? How do we protect those we love without being in the flesh? We pray and we wait. That is what the Lord is showing me. In the past, Mamma Bear would have come out, sought out the person that was hurting the one I love and she would have tore that person up. But, He showed me yesterday that I must wait. I must wait for Him to give me the words and the opportunity to speak to them. When I step out and do it in my own strength, I end up making the pain and hurt worse. Sometimes, He calls us to step away instead of stepping up. Sometimes He wants us to stay put and stay out of it, and sometimes He will use us to bring peace to the situation. But, no matter what, He is asking us to allow Him to lead, then we will know what He wants us to do, and if He just wants us to stay out of it. We do not always see what it is He is working on behalf of our loved ones, and if we get ahead of Him we can hinder the work He is doing for them, and most of all, we can hinder His work in their hearts.
The desire in me is to still have Mamma Bear come out. Even this morning I was woken by the desire to find this person and tell her the things that are on my heart, to show her the errors of her ways. But, this time I allowed God to calm my heart and this gave me the strength to pour out my heart to Him about the situation in prayer. Before, Mamma Bear would have been out the door and seeking this person out. But today, God has shown me that I need to allow Him to do the work, and that all He is asking of me is to wait on Him. If He desires for me to be the one to reach out to this person in love, then He will open the door for me to walk through it. I cannot be Mamma Bear and try and push the door in. I must wait for Him to open the door, and I must wait for Him to give me the words that He wants to speak- not what Mamma Bear wants to speak. Mamma Bear needs to go and hibernate, so that God’s Holy Spirit can do the work that only He can do.
Father God, I know that in each woman, each mother there is a desire to protect those she loves. Father it is my prayer today that You would close the cave door on Mamma Bear and that You would give me the patience and the strength I need to wait on you in the midst of this situation. For You alone are able to work in the hearts of Your children, and it is my prayer, that all who read these words today will be encouraged to wait on You, to trust You and to rely on You for everything, even for those we love and want to protect. For You alone are our protector, our Shield and a very present help in times of trouble. In Jesus Name, Amen and Amen.