Never too old for a bear hug

30 Years Ago, This Mom Bought 2 Identical Teddies

1 Corinthians 13:11 ESV
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.

We have two Gund bears in this same idea for Mia. One that was kept and one that was loved and slept with nightly, well past the normal age span that Teddy bear and little boy closeness normally lasts. Pooky was the Hobbs to my Calvin. In fact,  any girl that I ever dated might remember Pooky first hand, as he made his tour into their lives at times as well.

And even more recently,  I received Bernard from a Secret Santa at work. And Mia sleeps with him nightly,  but she knows that Bernard is daddy’s teddy bear.  In fact,  I believe that is why she clings to him as one of her favorites. And if I am sick or if she thinks that I need his protection some nights, she will even bring him to me and tell me that Bernard is going to sleep with daddy tonight.

I’ll never be too old to sleep with a teddy bear. She brought Bernard to me just last night since I’m sick in bed and really couldn’t play with her or help her go to sleep in our usual fashion. And it touched my heart when shebrought him to me because I realized the teddy bear isn’t what matters,  it’s the love behind the gift.

You see,  my mom bought Pooky for me. I can still remember the day, the mall, the store,  and even the shelf where we picked him out. And when I have my Pooky snuggled up with me,  it’s just like those times when it was just the two of us in the downstairs in Pacolet,  when I would crawl out of bed and ask my mommy if I could lay with her, just so that I could be close to her. Pooky was the surrogate for that love,  that closeness with my loving mother.

And now, I realize that I’m passing this on to my daughter through the teddy bears,  this shadow of love that we are trying to demonstrate to her,  so that she will know and recognize real love. Because more than her love for me,  or mine for her,  or mine for my mother,  or my mother’s for me – all of those are but a shadow of the love that our heavenly Father has for us. And just like I used to cling to my mom,  or cling to that bear, I’m learning to cling to Him in faith – because I need love,  and I’m not afraid to admit it.

We can discover so much about ourselves based on the things that we are clinging onto.  Life repeats itself in teaching us those things that we used to cling to that we need to let go of.

We aren’t children forever,  we are supposed to grow up, let go of the childish things, and cling to those things that are fruitful and beneficial to us as adults. But the things themselves aren’t what really matters. The things are only a reflection of the desires that they represent.

So what are we clinging to today? And why? What desire is it that they demonstrate or represent in our lives?

Are we clinging to God? Is He an after thought tucked behind the other toys and distractions? Have we forgotten about Him?

Or are we clinging to Him?

My guess is that all of us could benefit from clinging closer to the Lord today. So let’s don’t just learn that about ourselves,  let’s do something to fix it. Take a moment and find a quiet place.  If you have to take a bathroom break to find a quiet place,  do it.  Don’t give yourself an excuse or tell yourself that you will do it later. This is clinging,  clutching at the Lord to draw closer,  not continuing to turn away and be satisfied where we are.

Now, let’s just simply praise the Lord for the good things in our lives, ask forgiveness and commit ourselves to changing those things that are not honoring Him, and ask Him to teach us to love Him,  teach us to cling to Him as we would cling to anything that we truly valued. And let’s remember Him, His value, the price that He paid on the cross.

He is worthy to be valued and clung to.

Bless you, friend. I hope that you will enjoy laying in the embrace of His presence today,  as you cling to Him,  and you know His love that surpasses all other loves.

There is love behind the gift that Jesus Christ is offering you today,  friend. There is the type of love that lays down its own life for you. The kind of love that offers forgiveness and mercy and grace and renewal and redemption. So do we value that gift and cling to it?  YES WE DO!

Cling to Him.

Know His love today, and love Him back.

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