I joke about wanting to live a life of ease, but a look at an apex species taught me no one lives without trials.
“…but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”Proverbs 1:33 NIV
Can Black Bears Live a Life of Ease?
As apex species on the food chain, bears can live a life of ease. Sort of. Bears still must find food.
In the late summer, I’ve seen many in the verge next to the highways in Canada, feasting on wild strawberries. Springtime and early summers bring bears to the highway verge for sweet clover and other flowers.
Bears eat insects, larvae, and other tiny creatures. Depending on where they live, they feast on fish, carrion, baby elk, caribou, or deer. They don’t deign rodents, either. I’ve seen a grizzly plow apart an acre of national park hunting for pocket gophers and shrews.
Bears have no natural predators except humans. And most states have laws in place to protect bears. Bears may roam about the country with impunity, living a life of ease as they search for food. Mostly.
A bear’s long claws (a brown bear’s claws can reach almost 4 inches long), aid it in digging for grubs as well as protecting itself from other bears. But they might get in the way when swatting mosquitos.
Even the highest animals on the apex must deal with mosquitos. Those pesky insects buzz around the bear’s head, looking for easy-to-access areas around the nose, eyes, and ears.
Although bears have little to fear in the natural world, their life of ease and peace of mind come under attack as soon as mosquitos start hatching in the spring. I’ve watched (from the safety of my car) a black bear spend more time swiping at mosquitos than he spent grazing on the tender grasses and flowers.
The bear would shake its head or rub its paw over its face and the swarm would take cover out of reach. And then move in for another attack.
The mosquitos and the bear remind me of God and his promise to keep us from harm if we listen and obey his word. Bad things still might happen (cancer, illness, financial ruin, death), but if we abide in him, we know the end of the story. Eternity.
Like mosquitos, all the other problems in life don’t have to weigh us down or discourage us. We can live a life of ease—at rest in the knowledge that God wins in the end. The devil’s darts and stings shouldn’t detract or discourage us from our purpose in life: to live for God’s glory and not our own.
What mosquitoes in your life do you need to ignore?