Kip loves to go fishing from pre-dawn to sun-up once the weather begins to warm up. It's a very serene and beautiful time of day.....before the world wakes up and gets busy.
If you look carefully at the photo above, you will notice there are two very different types of tracks in the sand. I lightened the photo a bit so you can see them more clearly. It was still quite dark when he headed back home.....with a fish. The tracks on the right are his, coming toward us. The deeper, heavier tracks on the left are a black bear's, heading down the bay, to where Kip had been fishing.
Kip did not notice these tracks until he got closer home, the emerging daylight making them visible. He would be the first to tell you that shivers went right through him when he realized who had been following who!
The tide had been much higher when he sauntered down the bay in complete darkness and that could mean only one thing: not long before he decided to head home (with a fish) the bear had strolled down the bay in the pre-dawn light. He had obviously been very close to Kip as he was fishing.
"Our" black bears have never bothered anyone, nor been a danger here. We actually enjoy their presence, and have a great deal of respect for these magnificent creatures which God has made. Kip was in awe of the tracks, but he was also grateful that our freshly caught dinner didn't entice the bear to come over to him in the dim light of dawn.
I'm sure everyone of us can relate to times when we realize (often in hindsight) we were protected from unknown/unforeseen danger. We look back and clearly see that things could have turned out very differently. That is how our God works. Those are times of great miracles, yet we really don't recognize the power of God's intervention...mainly because we weren't aware of what "could have been."
God is always with us, and He protects us from countless times of disaster. He goes before us, alongside us and behind us (our rear guard). God is supernatural. He has no limitations, therefore He is everywhere all the time and His children are always in His keeping. Trusting in His protection can impart enormous peace as we travel along life's pathway.
I believe our Heavenly Father protected Kip that morning, and I'm glad Kip thought to take a picture of the two tracks side by side. It's an awesome visual reminder that God is always with us, protecting us even when we can't actually "see" what He is protecting us from.
Blessings on your week ahead. Rest secure in God's Presence as He miraculously puts his hedge of protection around you.
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