Baby Black Bears and A Heart Full of Praise

Baby Black Bears and A Heart Full of Praise

Have you ever seen a black bear cub with its momma? Maybe you have. But then maybe you haven’t!

I have a favorite memory from this past summer that will stick with me probably forever.

A Praising Song Journal CoverMy family got to go camping in one of our favorite places in the world – Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you have never visited Cades Cove, you should seriously consider doing that.

I don’t know what it is about Cades Cove that grips my heart. Maybe it’s the history, maybe it’s the beauty of God’s creation so clearly on display, maybe it’s… I can’t really put my finger on it but camping in our little vintage camper in Cades Cove was awesome.

We were there for nine days and got to attend some ranger lead programs. Smoky Mountain rangers are inspiring people. They have found their calling and 200% love what they do. I felt drawn in to their stories because of their passion. They taught us all kinds of stuff, made us laugh, and made me cry. Yeah… some of you who know me will not be surprised by that. I want to be them when I grow up! I want to be as passionate about what I do as they are about what they do! I really hope I already am.

Those rangers had no clue that they were filling my heart with a praising song! A praising song that continues to spill over months later.


“Let me shout God’s name with a praising song,
Let me tell his greatness
in a prayer of thanks.”

Psalm 69:30


Cades Cove is home to many black bears. We saw 17 bears while we were there! About half of those were small bear cubs probably about six months old. Oh my goodness… one momma bear had four cubs! Just no words to describe what that looks like in person. We saw two cubs wrestling in the grass near the road like toddlers. So many momma bears and babies!

This is important…

A ranger shared that when a female bear mates in about June or July her egg is delayed for up to five months. The egg implants in very late fall only if the momma bear has been able to eat enough berries, nuts, and yes, animal carrion that she can store sufficient body fat and nutrients for both herself and her yet unborn cubs to survive the winter sleep. The egg implants only when the babies will thrive in her womb.

God cares about baby black bears! The awesome Creator, intelligent Designer of ALL creation made a way for baby black bears to thrive. Of course it is not a guarantee that every one of those eggs implanted will survive and they will have struggles outside of the womb too, but He designed their mommas with great care for them both.

If God cares that much for baby back bears, how much more does He care for you and me?

It is indescribable! He loved us so very much that He was willing to sacrifice His one and only Son Jesus so that we could have fellowship with Him for eternity! He didn’t do THAT for those beautiful bear cubs. But He did it for you and for me. His love is beyond description and His goodness unfailing. I praise His name!

The Apostle John describes a scene around the throne of God in this way…Praise Him

“Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying:

“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!”

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lambbe praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”

Revelation 5:11-13

Now THAT’S a praising song!

Can you close your eyes and see it? Every creature in heaven and on earth, under the earth, on the sea and under the sea around the throne giving praise and adoration to our King Jesus. It just squeezes tears of awe and wonder from my heart! Will we one day get to stand as part of the throng of God’s amazing creatures? To say with them,

“Worthy is the Lamb to receive ALL the honor, ALL the glory, and ALL the praise!” It’s a breathtaking thought.

Do you realize how much God loves you? With all my heart I hope you do.

Back in Cades Cove, the very next day after the ranger told us about how God takes care of baby black bears (yeah, he didn’t exactly say that but that is surely what my heart heard), we were out on the loop for a drive (because that’s what you do in Cades Cove). We decided to take a quiet side road and came upon some cars on the side of the road and their people standing out, looking across the field. A sure sign of a bear sighting. A friendly teen called through our open windows that there were bears and so we pulled over, hoping to catch a glimpse.

standing black bear cub

We didn’t wait long but only a few people remained when we were rewarded with this sight. I wish I had a photograph for you but my words will have to paint it.

A momma black bear lumbered along the edge of the field about 50 yards away and a small cub followed closely behind. As we stood on the edge of the road watching, that little bear with small fuzzy ears stood up to get a better view of us! He stood up! He stood like a two-year-old wanting a better view of us as we stood getting a better view of him. I can still see the rounded tops of those furry little ears peeking out above the tall grass. His momma turned her head and must’ve sternly said, “Get down! They’ll see you!” because like a good baby bear he did and they moved on.

It’s burned in my heart. That little bear standing right up to see us. I jokingly tell ever since that he stood up and waved to us. But it was really me who waved to him. I couldn’t help it! Because in my heart there was a praising song and I was remembering how much God cares for me.


THIS is why baby black bears are featured in the A Praising Song Gratitude Journal.

Yes, I know those baby bears are actually called cubs. It is not my intention to share scientific facts so if you are a scientist and know lots of things about animals, please forgive me if I’ve described it all wrong. The thing is, whether I have or not, it remains that those Smoky Mountain black bear cubs made my heart overflow with praise.

**Get your own Praising Song Gratitude Journal here. It is available both as a download to print yourself or a printed version which will be mailed to you.

Psalm 69:30

How about some more interesting information and inspiration!

You can fall in love with Cades Cove too, through the eyes of photographer Faye Sykes. Her photos of the cove and its wildlife are amazing. It’s obvious she loves the cove too! “Like” and follow Faye’s Facebook page – Entering Cades Cove. While you are there, scroll down to find her close-up picture of two little cubs in a tree. One has the other’s nose in her mouth.

For interesting facts about black bears and to verify my story about delayed implantation, go here. It’s an interesting, easy read.


  1. Tess, not only do you paint/draw/illustrate images that are amazing, but you also have a way with words that makes me feel like we are sitting talking over a cup of coffee/tea! Well done my friend! Keep doing what you’re doing. God has made you an awesome writer and artist and I know he is using you.

    1. Author

      That means so much to me, Marilyn. Thank you so much for taking the time to share that with me.

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