I’ve had experiences with God which seemed crush-you-to-the-ground heavy. I’ve also had experiences which were so light and fun you couldn’t be stuck on the ground. There are moments when fathers speak seriously about sober matters. There are also playful moments of fun and silliness. Similar to our earthly fathers, our heavenly Father will take a different tone for different matters.  

I am a serious person when it comes to hearing God’s voice. Sometimes my seriousness gets in the way when God is in a playful posture. This takes me to polar bears. There was a season when my dreams were full of these creatures! 

I could not crack the meaning of the polar bears with my serious demeanor. I wonder how you might have responded. Here are some nutshell condensations of these dreams followed by my personal learnings.

1          I was with three or four men tracking polar bears. We saw a “herd” of polar bears. I was nervous. They seemed to graze on grass but then I saw a couple goats which they violently attacked and ate.

2          I saw polar bears standing by people at their mail boxes. I was alarmed for the people fearing they would be devoured.

3          I laughed when a polar bear was chasing a friend of mine. Then the bear started chasing me. I was not laughing then. Later several polar bears turned into friendly people.

4          I saw about a hundred polar bears and was alarmed and tried to avoid them.

5          A polar bear lived at our house. A young man was pestering the bear. I told him, “Don’t do that. The bear could take your face off with one swipe.” I later called the bear saying, “Come on, we are going outside.”

6          In my last dream there was a polar bear in my house but I did not feel uncomfortable at all! In fact, both the bear and myself were relaxed and at ease.

This is what I began to see from my polar bear dreams.

Polar bears are big powerful animals. It’s best if we are on good terms with them. I began reflecting that they are all white, except their noses and  pads on their feet which are black. Yes, I know you can talk about their back skin and translucent hair, but they appear as black and white!

I have always been a “shades of grey” thinker. I like to see different sides of a matter. I often look for truth in the middle of extremes, in fact, I have avoided extremes generally.

My wife is far more of a black and white thinker. She sees things as true or false, right or wrong. I began realizing my shades of grey thinking was not “polar” enough. God is polar contrasting light and dark, and good and evil. God has standards and is not stuck in the mixed grey zone. I began to see God does not dwell in the grey and neither should I.

Being polar means being more decisive, having stronger opinions, having standard which are clear and crisp.

The white of the bear speaks of God’s purity. The bear has a black nose. God sniffs out evil and will not tolerate it. The bears in the first dream were peaceable, but not with the goats! They were devoured. Jesus parable of the sheep and goats tells us the goats were resisting God, not serving Him.

I am most nervous with God when I am trying to live in the grey. The grey needs to go! The more I live in the light the less nervous I am about God finding an unacceptable mixture.

Although I have heard the voice of God in the most serious and straight-forward ways I’ve found He also speaks playfully, with figures, rhymes, word plays and puns. May you find delight in those moments of discovery!

Steven C Johnson


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