Friday, December 04, 2009

We've got to go through it!

We're going on a bear hunt.
We're going to catch a big one.
What a beautiful day!
We're not scared.

Oh-oh! Grass!
Long, wavy grass.
We can't go over it.
We can't go under it.
Oh no!
We've got to go through it!

(excerpt from We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen & Helen Oxenbury)

In this children's picture storybook, a family starts out on an adventure -- a bear hunt -- on a sunny, happy  day.  They have big dreams,  no fear, and they just know that they're going to catch a big one!  Again and again the family hits roadblocks like long, wavy grass and a deep, cold river, that might prevent them from their mission, but together they carry on and go through them all.

Isn't this exactly how Life is?
We plan our days.  We make our lists.  We gather our supplies.  We make the necessary arrangements, and we're off to "Catch a Bear!"  (What a beautiful day!  We're not scared.)  And what happens next?  The phone rings and there's bad news. The box on the truck is smashed by a deer running across the highway (no one is hurt).  Mold is found creeping up the walls at my daughter & son-in-love's rental home.  Some of the livestock is sick, very sick. The waterline is broken and must be dug up and replaced and the high temperature for the coming days will be just 15*.  The dollar is worth 20% less today than in March.  The war in Afghanistan is a war of beliefs -- is it winnable?  The bills come in.  The taxes will be due. Christmas is around the corner.  It's supposed to be a peaceful, joyous time. I have to keep pushing the creative things I want to do to the back burner.  On and on it goes.

Well..... we can't go over it.  We can't go under it. We've got to go through it!  All of it!  Swishy swashy, swishy swashy, swishy swashy, through the tall grass that seems so impassable.  And then there's the big, dark forest to traipse through.....stumble trip, stumble trip, stumble trip!  Once we're through that there comes a swirling, whirling snowstorm.... Hooo woooo, hooo woooo, hooo woooo!  What ever happened to our exclamation in the beginning? "What a beautiful day!"

I can't tell you how many times in the past few weeks and days this little book has come to mind.  For such a simple storyline, it has a lot of wisdom packed between the pages.  The theme, "We've got to go through it," rings so true for me and my family, and I know that eventually we will come out on the other side of the trial we're in at the moment.  We may be dirty, muddy, tired and cold, but we will get through it.  In the meantime we must hang onto one another, we must help and encourage each other, we must go through the "It" together and trust God until we get to the other side.  Jesus promised us that there would be wars and rumors of war, that there would be famine and earthquakes and tribulations of all kinds (like moldy walls and spoiled Christmas presents) but He also promised, "I will never leave you nor forsake you," and that is a promise that we can cling to.

And now for a little quiet time by the fire writing Christmas cards. 

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice!  Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel.


Medieval stained glass at Salisbury Cathedral, UK


  1. My goodness Jody -- that's quite a list of things to get through. I hope things will turn around soon -- especially with those sick animals!

  2. Good post..loved the bear hunt does feel like that sometimes but I too know where to lay my burdens down..and he does make them light! Have fun this month! Come say hi :D

  3. This is a great post! I never thought of this book in this way. (And I envy you getting to return to picture book days with your little angel.) I am sorry so many bad things have happened but I so appreciate your perspective. I really like that line about "We're not scared." A friend got very bad news this week that could be very scary if it was not for Emmanuel, God with us. Hugs, Leslie

  4. Dear Readers,
    I don't want to give you the impression that "everything is wrong." In fact, we're on the "other side" of many troubles and things are looking better. It is just that I know many of you are in hard places in your lives and together, we're gonna get through it.

    Thanks for your sweet comments.


  5. I sometimes wonder how people get through these rough patches without our Savior. I hate a struggle, but I love being molded into what He needs me to be. Yes, we will get through! God bless you for this post.

  6. Oh, I remember this book! And I used to say that about little things that CZ and I would encounter. I like your application to faith and the bigger challenges of life, and I pray for Jesus to show you through the long, wavy grass!

  7. what an inspiring post! thanks, lora

  8. Oh thank you for this post, I needed it. I have had a few months of going thought things I would rather not. But you are right we have to go through, not around, not under, not over xoxoxo Clarice

  9. Praying that we can keep moving through whatever comes our way with the help of the Lord. I'm praying specifically that God will bless you and yours with comfort, joy, and laughter in the midst of whatever you have to go through...
    Now I've got to add that book to my library :0)

  10. Beautifully said, Jody. It brought to mind a verse my dh shared with me three decades ago.

    "When (not if) you pass through the waters, I will be with you. And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When (not if) you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, You Savior." Isaiah 43: 2-3a

    My dh's paraphrase of the above: "Thou shalt make it."

    Thank you for sharing! I need this reminder.


  11. So very timely this post was. I agree, you just have to keep on keeping matter what you feel like doing, maybe going to bed and covering up your head! Ha

    Trials are where we grow spiritually, and in character as well. My daddy used to say that he believed he could do with a little less character. :)

    Great post!


  12. Oh, I hadn't thought of that book in a while. It brought back wonderful memories! I was looking for just the right book to send to my newest little great-niece, and this is the one. Thanks for a lovely post and for helping me out with my Christmas shopping :)

  13. I have thought of this quote so many times in my life. I wanted to send it to my daughter who is going through some tough times right now, but I couldn't remember the name of the book. Thank you!

  14. Thank you for sharing and for your inspiration. It's good to read that, it helps when I think of what I need to do next. There are always hurdles to cross but if you just keep going, you start to become made of steel! Good to be reminded of that in such a great book.


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