When our children were young, they asked us to read over and over the children’s book, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. This book is for ages 4 to 8 years old, but our children wanted it read to them far beyond this age. We have kept our copy (which is falling apart from so much use) so we can read it to our grandchildren one day.
One of the things I liked to do with children’s books and novels was tie the message of the book to a principle and/or promise found in the Bible. This made the book even more memorable and a wonderful way to have devotions with our children.
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is about a family going on a bear hunt. (Imagine that!) It is a hard journey for them; they meet all sorts of obstacles along the way. At each encounter they realize that they can’t go over it and they can’t go under it, instead they have to go through it.
Likewise, we often hit many obstacles in our life as a Christian. What was a cold river in the book is often a cold spell in our relationships with others; or what was a mud pit is like a sticky situation we face. Oh and then the forest, the big, dark forest. How many times have we faced dark evil times in our lives where the darkness seems to conquer the light? We stumble and trip and we often get caught in the throes of life feeling hopeless; but regardless of how gloomy and narrow the situation seems we can count on God being with us. He usually never allows us to go over or around our difficulties, but he promises to walk with us as we travel through them.
There is no place God cannot be. And there is no difficulty He cannot conquer. For “Where can we go from His Spirit? Where can we flee from His presence? If we go up to the heavens, God is there; if we make our bed in the depths, He is there also. If we rise on the wings of the dawn, if we settle on the far side of the sea, even there God’s hand will guide us, His right hand will hold us fast (in other words He will help us through it.) If we say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide us and the light becomes night around us,’ even the darkness will not be dark to God; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to God” (Psalm 139:7-12 pronouns adjusted). The Lord is our home base, the safe place we run to; where we find security, hope and peace.
Use wonderful stories like these to teach spiritual truths to your children. They enlighten the mind, the heart and their little souls.