A few nights ago I went on a hike with my son. It is a lot of fun hanging out with him, enjoying nature, and having conversations that are all over the map.
Last night he asked what would happen if lions, tigers, and bears attacked us. I explained that this was not going to happen because lions and tigers did not live in Ohio. He accepted my answer, but as we walked, I thought to myself, “bears live in Ohio….what would happen if a bear attacked us?”
I know this seems a bit far-fetched, but what if? I started to think of a plan and honestly, I didn’t have a good one. As I looked around I noticed that there would be no place to hide. Climbing a tree would not help.
So, I said to Logan, if we ever saw a bear, I would call 911, give you the phone, and you would run down the path – you wouldn’t stop – just keep going until you find people. I then explained that I would stay back and try to fight the bear while he ran to safety.
This might be a stupid plan – not sure. What if the bear chased the little boy running away?
I’d have to tackle the bear.
Not sure if that would work….
Nonetheless, its the best that I could come up with. And honestly, it was a bit scary to think about – it could happen. The chances are slim, but it could happen.
He teed up the point really well when he said, what if the bear was the biggest bear in the world. I said, I’m not sure I could win. But I’d try to fight it off long enough so that you could get to safety.
It got quite for a while, and then I said, “do you know what the most dangerous thing in the world is?”
“More dangerous than the biggest bear in the world?”
He didn’t have an answer.
So I explained that the most dangerous thing in the world is sin because it separates us from God.
“What if there was no way to forgive our sins?” I asked.
“We die and go to hell,” he replied. (I’ve taught him well) *grin*
So I got to tell my son, in a new way, about how Jesus fought the biggest bear ever – the most dangerous thing in the world – sin – while we ran down the trail to safety.
He let our sin kill him so that it didn’t have to kill us, but then he didn’t stay dead. He came back to life and beat sin once and for all.
How are you framing the gospel story? Are you finding new ways to help your kids understand the story? Now every time we think about bears (or watch the Wizard of Oz) we have a conversation starter – “remember when we talked about Jesus fighting the biggest bear ever…?”
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