Skyline Drive

black-bear

Skyline Drive

Eduardo Moreno

USA

An object lesson from God’s creation

“My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.” – Proverbs 1:8

In the early spring of 2007, my family, including my parents, were driving on a picturesque road called Skyline Drive.1 The forest was in bloom, and we enjoyed the scenic drive, stopping every once in a while to take pictures and appreciate nature. My father told me he’d like to see a bear during our trip. I told him there was a possibility we would see one, but after three hours on the road, we had seen much wildlife, but no bears.

I decided to get off of Skyline Drive and onto another road in order to get home before too late at night. It looked like my father would not get to fulfill his wish of seeing a bear that day. As I was exiting the road I began to apologize, “Well, I don’t think you will get to see a—” and lo and behold! as we veered onto the other highway a bear appeared right in front of us!

I screeched to a stop, took out the camera, and hopped out of the car. The bear, instead of running away to hide, simply stopped and stared at me. Eventually she sat down on the curb, and I resumed photographing her. I inched closer and closer; she kept grooming in total oblivion of me.

After a while, I heard another car approaching, and immediately began to back up in case the bear might decide to charge in fright. The bear didn’t even seem to notice as the car came to halt and a man stepped out. He walked up to our car and asked my wife what was going on. She told him there was a bear up the road. He got out his camera and came up to me.

While taking pictures he warned me, “We shouldn’t get too close to this bear. It’s a female. Have you seen the cubs?” I answered that I hadn’t seen them, and he pointed up to a tree where the cubs were peering down. After a while, the cubs came down from the tree, and one of them decided to come close to us. As soon as he did so, a loud “gruff” came from his mother, which sent him quickly scrambling back up the tree. As I continued taking photos, the man beside me told me that though this bear was used to humans because of the nearby campgrounds, female bears are very dangerous, and as with most animals, very protective of their offspring.

This got me to thinking that animals may seem to be cute and apparently harmless, but if we’re not careful to heed the warnings given to us to avoid disturbing them, they might hurt us and eventually even end our lives. This is something to which sin might be compared. Sin, as it is presented by the devil, might seem harmless or maybe even cute, but if we’re not careful to heed the warnings God sends us through His word, our parents, and elders, to stay away from sin and to not mingle with it, sin will hurt us, and eventually destroy our lives.

1 Skyline Drive is a 105-mile (169-km) road that runs the entire length of the National Park Service’s Shenandoah National Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, generally along the ridge of the mountains.

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Answer in a Purse

Eli Tenorio

Canada

“For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:7, 8).

Some years ago, the brethren in Peru invited me to preach at their biennial youth convention held at that time near the Huascarán National Park. Two-thousand people from all over Peru and neighboring countries were in attendance. Each person had to make personal sacrifices and took great pains to attend this youth convention.

Heavy rains had devastated some parts of the country, and many had to travel for several days to arrive. Sometimes the buses would come to a point where the bridge had been shattered by the river’s chaotic waters. The passengers would disembark, then travel by foot across the mountains until they would reach another bus station and board again to resume their trip. I will never forget their courage and admirable efforts.

At the youth convention, a sister came to speak to me and a group of pastors. She told us an amazing story. Her struggle to be able to attend the youth convention had begun months earlier when she realized that she was short of money. She prayed for wisdom. If she would attend the meetings, she would have no money left at all. How would she hold out until the next harvest when her paycheck would come?

On the day of the trip, the Lord impressed her that she should go and trust Him that He would provide for her needs. With barely enough money to cover the expenses of the trip, she boarded the bus.

After traveling for a while, the bus stopped for lunch at a restaurant. It was not easy to find vegetarian food at the restaurant, nor could she afford what they were offering, so she decided to go to a fruit market across the street and see what she could find to eat. As she was leaving the market, an elderly lady approached her and gave her a purse in our sister’s hand and said, “Here, daughter, this is your purse.”

“But this isn’t my purse!” replied the sister. But the elderly lady insisted, “No, keep it. It’s yours! I saw when you dropped it as you arrived at the market.”

The sister was puzzled and looked down at the purse, but when she raised her eyes again, the lady had disappeared. The sister looked around, but could not find the elderly lady, she was gone!

With trembling hands, she didn’t know what to do with the purse. She decided to wait until she was on the bus to open it and find out what was inside the mysterious purse. She couldn’t understand what was happening. Remembering the Peruvian terrorism phase, her mind wandered, what could be inside that purse? Shaking more than ever, she slowly opened the purse . . . and the contents made her shudder!

Inside the purse were $9,000 US dollars. In Peru in those days, that was lots of money! That was enough for her to live peacefully with her family for years to come!

She arrived at the youth convention, and she was asking the brethren what she should do with that money. We asked her if there was an address inside the purse, a name, or any other information, to which she replied, “Besides the money, the only thing I found was a small piece of paper.”

in that piece of paper were written only a few random English words. Knowing that we couldn’t very well tell her to go back to the market and ask who had lost a purse full of U.S. dollars, we advised her to keep the money for a few months. If the owner didn’t show up, she should return the tithe, give the offering that she desired to give, and enjoy the blessings that the Lord had given her. No one ever showed up to claim the money, and we understood that God had blessed His daughter with more than she expected, and what a great blessing that was!

“We should choose the right because it is right, and leave consequences with God.” The Great Controversy, p. 460. When His children seek to do what is right, God will open the way. God will work in your life too. Believe Him!

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Devotional

Answer in a Purse

“For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:7, 8).

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