The Day I Turned into Mama Bear


by Barbara Rainey

How do I trust God when my husband is dealing with hard issues at work and it makes him distracted and distant at home?

How do I trust God when it feels my life is falling apart? It seems everything is going wrong at once right now.

How do I trust God when my child is being bullied, when his safety is in question?

I have asked all of these questions and more. It is in these hard places of life where we have the opportunity to see the wonder of God’s miraculous work!

As much as I dislike hard circumstances, I am learning these times are gifts from God’s hand. He is saying, “Come to Me; bring Me your emptiness and inadequacy, and I will give you what you need, your daily bread, from the riches of My grace. For My grace is sufficient for you.”

Several years ago, a neighbor boy got angry at my son while they were playing in our backyard. He picked up a huge rock and was about to hurl it at my son’s head, which was mere inches away. I instantly turned into an angry mama bear and the intended harm was averted. This incident was not the only time this boy attempted to act out his anger on my children.

I watched my kids like a hawk when this child was over, which thankfully wasn’t a frequent occurrence. He and his parents did not know Jesus, and we wanted to be kind and demonstrate the love of God to them. I knew the gospel called me to love my enemies, and this child felt like an enemy. But loving him was impossible for me. On my own, I only became angrier and angrier, unable to even be kind to him.

Once again, God gave me what I lacked: His love.

Jesus taught us to ask for our daily bread, and I needed the bread of His love. I prayed, confessed my utter inability to love on my own, and requested His love for this boy.

And one day it was there. God gave me His love for this child. It was genuine and unexplainable, except by prayer and His grace toward me.

Trusting God for all that I lack is an invitation. When I come to Him, His grace gives me even the ability to trust Him more. Any capacity I have to respond to God is all grace.

The longer I live, the more I understand how much I need His help. As another old hymn says, “Every hour I need Thee.” His help to me is all grace, all undeserved.

O for grace to trust Him more. That is my heart’s desire. May it be yours too.

“O Lord you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart.” -Psalm 10:17


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4 thoughts on “The Day I Turned into Mama Bear”

  1. Karen Serbeniuk

    Dear precious sister, I too am hurting and struggling to hold on to Him and to really believe that the Lord is in control! I’m almost 60, have various health issues and recently spent a month in the hospital for surgery from a fractured back. During that time my husband who I am separated from for 10years had to move me out of the home we had lived in for 22 years and raised our now grown children. I could no longer afford my portion of the finances. I shared the home with my daughter and my precious grandson who I had basically raised the first year of his life! Not being there every morning to see the joy on his face was devastating to me. Another loss! I moved into my Mother-in-laws home with him to recover from my surgery and to help in the care taking of his 91 yr old mother who is fragile and has dementia. We ourselves have had a difficult time in trying to reconcile a friendship much less our marriage! I also had
    to leave behind my 3 much loved and needed cats. That was a major loss of friendship and comfort. So much loss, so many tears! I truly understand this place you are in. All I can say is it is moment by moment, day to day of intentionally choosing to TRUST that I am in His will and that He is in control. I have never been as scared or lonely or vulnerable. Let’s walk together and pray ourselves through until we see the victory of the Lord!!

    1. barbara rainey

      Thank you for your kind words. I’m sorry for your many losses too. I just picked up a book I’d read years ago called A Grace Disguised, How the Soul Grows through Loss, by Jerry Sittser. Again it has encouraged me and given me hope and perspective.
      May you see God’s hand at work in and through you.

  2. I so need to hear and to know this… ? I am in a hard place right now. In the middle years, empty nest, precarious health, no job, marriage slump. O for grace to trust Him more…. Thank you Jesus and please help me to hold on to you. Some days I feel like I’m slipping….

    1. barbara raineyb

      Thank you for writing. I really understand. Perhaps you might want to read a book I wrote on the empty nest years with my dear friend Susan Yates called Barbara and Susan’s guide to the Empty Nest. I also mentioned another book in my comment to Karen.
      Books can be good guides to walk us through the various losses of life.
      Blessings to you.

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