Cancer and Life and Goin’ on a Bear Hunt- My Preschool Theology.

“swish, swish, swish”

“Can’t go over it, can’t go under it, have to go through it.” When I taught preschool, and when my kids were young- this was a daily favorite.

For the past few years- I’ve been living this nursery rhyme. Not so much a favorite. There are things we’ve been facing that are scary and hard…. like surgeries, sickness, cancer, radiation, drug side effects, family challenges, emotions, chemo……

Honestly? I’ve tried everything to avoid circumstances that are hard and complicated and  dangerous- to no avail. You’d think all those years of the Bear Hunt would have sunk in… they didn’t.

I’ve tried to go over them by spiritualizing and minimizing how hard they are.

I’ve tried to go around them, by avoiding them… (cupcakes,  cooking and home decor projects and the internet-are great temporary ways to avoid stuff you don’t want to deal with.)

I’ve tried to go under them – by bargaining with God, trying to manipulate my mind and God’s,  and trying to manipulate my circumstances…

None of which, have worked. The bear is still out there.

I can’t go over it. I can’t go around it, I can’t go under it- I have go through it. I’ve realized I have been wasting a lot of time and energy trying to avoid stuff that could have been used dealing with it.

Because: dealing with it is HARD.

“Swish, Swish, swish.”

“Ouch!” There is friction in going through tall grass. It  hurts.

“Swim, swim, swim.”

“Gulp! Gasp! Choke!” There can be some swallowing of water while you’re trying to swim. (At least when I do. I used that “Womanly” pass several time during high school swimming to avoid getting my hair wet. I barely passed.) Your arms  get tired and sometimes the water is so cold you wonder how long before hypothermia will set in.

“Creep, creep, tippy toe creep.”

Sometimes you have to go into the darkness of the cave…. and there is no light switch on the cave wall. You have to walk in the dark. I’m not a fan of walking in the dark. I have a hard enough time when the lights are on. It’s frightening.

It’s also-part of going through it.

In pretend bear hunts and in real life sometimes you have to do the same….

I’m not sure what you’re facing today.  I’m not sure if you’re  trying to go over- it under it around it or through it….. but here’s the hope I’m holding onto today-

Isaiah 43:

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior


When I can’t go over, under or around it— to promises to be with me through it.  I’d love to edit that verse to say that he’ll put out the fires- part the waters and calm the river- but, it doesn’t.  (We can talk about my frustration with his ability to do so and yet- not- on a another day…)

But today- I’m glad he is with me- even here. As he is also – and desires to be with you- where every you are. Even if you’re trying to go over under or around it….

Dear Lord- You know how much of a “bear hunter” I am… I stink. I’d rather go around it- over it- under it- anything but, through it. However, I know that isn’t always your plan. YOU know I don’t like that… so I won’t pretend to. But I do trust you, even here- in the dark…. help me be brave and keep going when I can’t see what’s ahead of me…help me go through it- in Jesus name- amen.

FYI? (Readers- not Jesus- He’s got all the FYI covered.)  I noticed they made the bear hunt much more politically correct. You now shoot the bear with a camera. WHAAA?

Just a note: If I ever go on a bear hunt- I won’t be chasing a bear or entering a cave with nothing but a camera. That’s just dumb. I’ll take my camera and a gun…of course.  justsayin. I would’t want to miss either shot. Adventure is fine- being a bear’s dinner- not so much.

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