Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Jewel # 133 (March 19, 2013)

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"And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up MY JEWELS."
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren,

A Hungry Cougar

The family had just pulled into a camping spot, and Lisa, Anne and Jon ran off to explore the new campground.  It was their favorite kind of camping spot, among tall evergreens and near a rushing, ice-cold stream.  They discovered trails through the underbrush as they made their way toward the inviting water.

For their vacation this summer, Dad had borrowed a camper, much to the children's dismay.  They preferred their old tent, camping out like real pioneers.  However, the week so far had been fun exploring Vancouver Island's wild, beautiful parks.

Anne and Jon had just arrived at the edge of the clear, rocky stream when their father called them back up to the campsite.  They really didn't want to go back yet. but they obeyed, after first finding their sister.  Dad had learned from the ranger that there was a cougar in the campground!  It had killed a small dog that morning, and the ranger feared that it might grab a young child next.

A cougar, also known as a mountain lion, is usually 5 to 6 feet long and weighs 100 to 150 pounds when fully grown.  People rarely see it because it usually hides in the deep wild forests during the day and hunts at night.  This powerful animal silently stalks it prey, much as a house cat sneaks up on a bird or a mouse.  It pounces on its unfortunate victim, digging in with sharp claws and fangs, and dragging it down to the ground.

The cougar usually hunts deer, elk and mountain goats, and in the north it will hunt moose and caribou.  But if it is very hungry, it will stalk smaller animals - even skunks and porcupines.  Because the previous winter had been unusually cold and snowy, deer were scarce.  This starving mountain lion had come down from the mountains  to a populated area to hunt for smaller animals.

This frightening news of a cougar right in the campground caused the three children to scramble into the camper, glad for its sturdy walls to protect them.

Before long a shot rang out in the forest nearby.  Soon Anne, Jon and Lisa could see a small crowd gathering down the road.  Hurrying over with Dad, they saw a young cougar, like a giant kitty cat, lying dead in the back of the ranger's pickup truck.  The thin, soft-furred mountain lion looked harmless.  Its ribs were visible through its tawny skin.  For a moment the children were sorry that it had been shot.  But then they remembered the danger while it was alive and were very happy that the forest was safe again for campers and their pets.

This reminds us of the Bible verse, "Be vigilant [watchful]; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8).  The devil is our enemy, although he would like us to think he is not dangerous.  We can only find safety and protection from him by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ, just as Lisa, Anne and Jon were protected from the cougar by going into the camper.

Have you run to the loving arms of the Lord Jesus?  The Lord Jesus loves you dearly and died on Calvary's cross for your sins, if you will trust Him.  He is waiting for you to run to Him for safety and protection right now.

"I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust" (Psalm 91:2).

Love you all,
Grandpa  

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