the bear necessities

by Pastor Mark Jordan

We had the neatest experience the other day. We took Mia to the Build-A-Bear Facorty to take advantage of the Birthday Bear, where you pay your age. It was the best $6 we’ve spent in ages!

Mia was a bit uncertain at first about the process, but as she went on with it, she began to love it. The best part, I think, was when she was given one of the stuffed hearts and told to make a wish. Honestly, that isn’t something that really registered with her, but she clutched it to her chest, then gave it a little kiss, before lifting it to her eye. Once she finished providing the bear necessities, the associate took the heart, placed it in the bear, stuffed it, and sewed it together. Mia named the bear, Pinkalicious (after the character from the PBS show), and adorned her in a pretty nifty Wonder Woman costume. Once the process was done, Tiffany told Mia, “Mommy and daddy adopted you, and you get to adopt this bear.” Mia responded with a big smile and a bigger hug.

I reflected over the entire experience and kept coming back to the moment that Mia took the little stuffed heart and lifted it to her eye. It brought to mind something powerful written by the Apostle Paul: “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe” (Ephesians 1:18-19a, NIV). 

Believing in Jesus is your adoption into God’s family. The Lord changes your heart so you see the world differently…seeing it in a way that leads, guides, and directs you according to His will. All of this brings you closer to God and others for the sake of His glory. Now, we are all family, even though we may come from different places. This incomparably great power that brings us all together, also deploys us into the world to help others know they belong, too.

I hope you have an opportunity to experience the power of God’s eternal family. May the eyes of your heart be enlightened to see the world, and everything in it, differently. I also pray that love may be the language you hear and speak, so it may become the bear necessities that fill you now and forever.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for filling me with your love, and blessing me with your heart. Help me to see the world through your eyes, so the eyes of my heart may be enlightened. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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