The year was 2000. I was 16 and had just come back from the original CallDC rally a few months earlier. There were a couple dozen of us who went and came back truly transformed. It wasn’t hype or a spiritual high, it was a complete spiritual overhaul. We came back changed and longing for God.
That Christmas, I decided to make a prophetic statement and pray a prayer of faith. I went to Walmart and bought over 20 of their $5 Christmas bears (see picture). With no explanation of what it meant, I gave a bear to each of my friends that year who were close to me and who were seeking God passionately.
My prayer (and what the bears symbolized) was that 10 years from that time I wanted to see everyone that got a bear still passionate after God. I didn’t want them to *just* still be going to church or saying they’re a Christian. I wanted them to still be as on fire (if not more) as were were 10 years ago around Christmas.
As the years went by, some friends moved away and some stayed. Some became rooted in ministry and some waned in their spiritual walk. But every year I would look at that Christmas bear (which I never packed away but kept in my room) and prayed and believed God that my prayers and desire would become true.
So here we are, 10 years later. I forget some people who I gave the bears to and others I remember. It’s been a beautiful time remembering these people and friends and seeing them with God even after a hard decade. I am truly grateful at God’s love and mercy, cause it’s only His grace that has kept us. Even the ones that are away from God right now, no one has died from the group. He is still merciful cause there is still time.
So if you have a bear, take a moment and (1) thank God for keeping you regardless of your spiritual place with God and (2) think of your bear and let it move you closer to Him.
I love each of you and thank God for you. The light is always on and the party inside is always going…come what may. 🙂