"And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up My JEWELS."
To my dear Grandchildren,
Max Finds a New Friend
The big polar bear just sat and looked at his food and wouldn't eat. He was so lonely. You see, Max the polar bear had traveled for many years with a circus, and now they had moved him to the Bronx Zoo. The zookeepers gave him a nice, new home with a pool in the center where he could swim - everything a bear could wish for - but he was a very lonely bear. He was used to having other animals and circus people around, but in his new cage he was all alone and sad. After exploring his new home, he just howled. Max needed a friend.
Have you ever been lonely? Even when there are people around, sometimes we feel lonely, because not one of those people is a friend. But I have a friend who is always with me. His name is Jesus, and He never leaves me alone, no matter where I go. He has promised me, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5). Is He your friend too?
Even though there were grizzly bears and brown bears in cages nearby, their noises only seemed to frighten Max. And there was the other problem too - because he was so lonely, the big polar bear hadn't eaten since he had moved into the zoo. The zookeepers were worried and didn't know what to do.
Early one morning before the zoo visitors began to arrive, a zookeeper had tried to tempt the bear to eat by giving him fresh meat for breakfast. But Max would have none of it. He sat with his snout held straight up in the air and just moaned. The keeper felt sorry for him and said to him, "Too bad they took you away from the circus, old fellow."
Just then the keeper heard a scraping sound on the walkway behind him. When he turned, he saw a small, half-starved dog trying to get into the cage. The keeper clapped his hands and yelled to scare the dog, but it didn't run away. The dog had smelled the meat the keeper had placed in the bear cage, and he wanted it.
Suddenly the dog sprang forward and squeezed between the bars and was inside the cage. The big polar bear had been watching them after hearing the keeper talk to the dog. The keeper expected to see the bear quickly crush the life out of the dog. Max walked over to where the dog was sitting and chewing on the meat. The dog was watching the bear out of the corners of his eyes, but he didn't run away. He either wasn't afraid or he was too hungry. Max looked down at the dog, and then he lifted one paw and gently put it on the dog's back. Then he began to lick the dog's head. The dog kept right on eating. Then Max lay down and began to play with the dog, and his play was very gentle. The polar bear's sharp claws never showed as he gently played with the dog.
Once the dog had eaten his fill, he scrambled to his feet and looked around. The keeper, who had been watching through the bars, thought the dog would run off, but instead, the dog began to play with the bear as though he had known him all his life. Soon the two animals were romping around the cage, and the dog was yelping with happiness and excitement. He not only had eaten a good meal for the first time in a long time, but now he had found a play fellow that did not snarl and bite him. This great big polar bear was now his friend, and the dog was now Max's friend!
Jesus would like to be your friend, and He wants you to be His friend. He says, "Come unto Me" (Matthew 11:28), and He also says, "Suffer [let] the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God" (Mark 10:14). But most of all He would like to be your Saviour, because He loves you and died for you on the cross. He wants to wash away all your sins so that you can live with Him in His happy home in heaven someday. There won't be any loneliness or unhappiness in His wonderful home that He has all ready for those who love Him and are washed clean from their sins. Have you let Him wash your sins away? "The blood of Jesus Christ [God's] Son cleans us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).
After a while the dog was tired of playing and sat down by the pool. Max was tired too, and the two very different animals lay down together. The keeper left them there to go find another breakfast for the polar bear. When he came back the dog was still there. The keeper tossed the meat inside the cage, and for the first time since his arrival, Max began to eat and ate every scrap of food, while the dog sat and watched. Then the two animal friends curled up and went to sleep, side by side.
Later in the day when the zoo visitors began to arrive, the dog woke up and left the cage. But he stayed around all day, going into Max's cage every now then to play with him. The keeper called the dog over to him and made friends with him. He plans to adopt the dog so Max will have a friend to play with and won't be lonely anymore.
"There is a friend that [sticks] closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24). Do you know who that friend is? It is Jesus, and He loves you. Will you let Him be your friend and Saviour?