When our kids were little we loved We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. In verses that repeat the same upbeat refrain, it’s the humorous story of a family’s adventure to find a bear. Along the way they encounter tall grass, a wide river, a big dark forest, thick oozy mud, a swirling whirling snowstorm and a narrow dark cave, all brought to life in delightful illustrations.
At each new obstacle, we’d join in shouting, in our normal over the top theatrics,
“We can’t go over it, we can’t go under it. Oh no! We’ve got to go through it!” before pretending to squelch through the oozy mud, or stumble and trip through the forest. Once we found the bear we’d turn and run back through the cave, the storm, forest, mud and river, screaming all the way, before collapsing in a heap of giggles.
Buried deep in the giggles and dramatics, there’s a simple yet profound story I still grapple with today. It gently whispers the harsh reality of encountering life’s obstacles and difficult seasons; we can’t ignore, avoid or go round them – we must go through them.
The same is true of our pain and grief; to find healing we must go through them. There’s no quick fix. No getting around it.
I don’t like going through hard stuff.
Forgive me for stating the obvious, but it’s hard. Really hard. I know, genius right?
This week I started my Know His Love Challenge over on Instagram. Each day I’m posting a verse describing how ridiculously lavish and unconditional God’s love for is, so we can let that love sink from our heads (where it has a tendency to get stuck) to our hearts (where it can do the most good). Here’s a sneak peak at one of the verses.
What’s struck me is how a lot of the hard stuff we have to go through in life, would be easier, less painful and quicker, if we truly grasped how high, wide, deep, and long His love for us really is.
If I’m 100% sure I’m loved and accepted by God, would I feel alone in a crowd or worried what people think? Would we be less worried about loosing our job or getting dumped by Mr Right? Battling a scary diagnosis would be easier and less terrifying knowing we are loved, wouldn’t it?
Let’s face it, getting through anything is easier when we know we’re love, and getting through life’s tough seasons, healing from past hurts and grieving the loss that comes with change, is less painful in the security of God’s love.
As much as I want to move through these tough seasons like Hussien Bolt on steroids, I’m learning I need to sit still to get my stubborn heart around this love that will ultimately move me on.
So I’ve decided to do more sitting still this February. I’m going to soak in these truths and let them permeate the dry, raw places of my heart, because I’m learning sitting still can move us forward.
As we sit in His love we move forward in healing.
As we sit in His love we move on through grief.
As we sit in His love we hear His voice of acceptance.
As we sit in His love we receive His wisdom.
(Ooh, I could add loads more! The list of what we gain is endless!)
I’m not a natural at sitting still, but I’m giving it a go. I want to know His love in the warm fuzzies of my heart, so it can move me forward through the tough stuff, more than I want to stay put.
Want to join me?
Do you want to begin to let God’s humongous love for you trickle from your head to your hear? Would you like to start moving through some of the hard stuff you’ve been dealing with and carrying?
If you do, hop over to Instagram and soak it in.
If you start to know His love in a deeper way, struggle to grasp it, or want to encourage others, post a comment using the #knowhislovechallenge. It’s a team sport friends (I think Jesus called it the body of Christ, but I like to think of it as team sport) and we’re here for eachother.