In 2nd Samuel, a man named Benaiah is in the woods on a snowy afternoon. He spots a lion. Most of us would wet ourselves, then run. Not Benaiah. He charges the lion and the lion runs! Benaiah gives chase until he comes upon a deep pit. He walks up to the edge, looks down, and sees two huge yellow eyes staring back at him. Benaiah turns from the pit and walks away. However, he's not walking away for good. Instead, he's getting a running start. He leaps into the pit with spear in hand to kill or be killed. After several minutes of roaring, grunting, and screaming, Benaiah climbs out of the pit.
I bought a book yesterday called In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson. I thought I was done with these Christian self-help, inspirational books. However, something about this one peaked my interest (and it was only five bucks at the Cornerstone bookstore). I've read four chapters and am loving it.
It's not NORMAL to chase a lion into a pit and try to kill it. God doesn't call us to sit by and be normal. The lion represents our seemingly insurmountable fears, and the only way to overcome that fear is to face it head on. That defies all that is within us though. Our rational minds say, "Are you crazy? I'm not going into that pit after that lion!" But it's an integral part to becoming who God wants us to be. Imagine you are on a boat in the middle of the ocean. You've never really sailed before, but you thought it'd be fun. You ask your captain, "Have you ever been in a storm before?" Wouldn't you feel much better if your captain's response was "Yes, I've weathered many storms at sea" rather than "Nope, never sailed in a storm before"? The adversity makes us better, stronger, wiser.
So this image of a lion is stuck with me right now. It represents those fears that we normally would run away from, but God is calling us to chase, charge, and kill. I like that. I like the thrill of overcoming a fear. I've been wanting a tatoo for a while now. I couldn't ever think of a phrase that I would want on me forever. But a picture is worth a thousand words. I think I want a lion tatoo. So, yesterday I drew one on my arm just to see what it would look like.
I would probably go about two-thirds that size. It's called a "rampant lion" and it was used in medieval times on shields and crests.
We give lions so much respect because of how much we fear them. Our fears in life don't deserve that much respect. They can rule us if we don't chase them down and defeat them. The thing to remember though, is that we don't fight them alone. Our God is fighting alongside us.