This morning the snow is blowing and whipping through the backyard like crazy. I have no desire to even step foot in the large mounds of white packed drifts, and am overwhelmed at the thought of Farmer Dean trying to plow his folks driveway, and then attempt to clear ours. I guess the business of being someone who loves to be outside was never the makeup of this little Iowa girl. Good thing it’s the makeup of Deano.
As I was listening to the wind howling, I remembered a Bible verse that I encountered a few years ago. Pastor Mark Batterson had drawn attention to it in his book that I was reading.
II Samuel 23:20-21
“There was also Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two of Moab’s mightiest warriors. Another time he chased a lion down into a pit. Then, despite the snow and slippery ground, he caught the lion and killed it. Another time, armed only with a club, he killed a great Egyptian warrior who was armed with a spear. Benaiah wrenched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with it.”
I’m telling you I’ve been reading scripture for eons, and somehow those verses never jumped out at me, until I read Mark’s book entitled, In a Pit With a Lion On a Snowy Day.Mark says the premise of this verse is to encourage us to face our deepest fears.
I think my favorite thought out of the whole book is simply this, “But when I look in the rearview mirror, I realize that the biggest risks were the greatest opportunities.” (quote from author, Mark Batterson)
How very true this statement rings for me as I look over the past few years of my life. Perhaps I whine about it too frequently, but I never want to stop remembering what God has done in me, through me, and for me.
I simply did not want to leave the Land of Worship. I did not want to cast aside my love of leading the congregation in music, creating dramas, mentoring musicians, and writing songs. But God’s plans for my life were to change, and I needed to chase the lion into the pit on a snowy day. In other words, I needed to follow His plan, even though it was scary!
The doors for music at the church I worked at closed abruptly. I was called to go outside in the snowstorm, and approach the lion in the pit. In other words, God called me to leave that secure job, and walk into the new world of full-time nonprofit ministry, heading up something God had me create out of a horrific violent attack on my daughter.
I often look back and wonder what would have happened if I would have cowered in the corner, or run back to my office door, locked it, and refused God. I imagine I would have been miserable!
Has God been calling you to something that seems scary? Has He been opening doors for you that only HE could have opened? (Rev. 3:7 “These are the words of Him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What He opens no one can shut, and what He shuts no one can open.”) Has He asked you today to leave the comfort of your warm family room and head out into the wide open, to chase down a lion in a snowy pit? Are you cowering in the kitchen with your steaming mug of hot coffee, saying, “Absolutely not! I will not go outside my comfort zone and chase down an opportunity that seems to big and too beyond my abilities!”
I find the verses after this short story about Benaiah so interesting! Scripture follows up on his life by telling us this in verse 23, “And David put Benaiah in charge of his bodyguard.” You see, Benaiah wasn’t afraid to go chasing after something big and scary. He faced his fear, faced the snow, and faced the pit with a lion. And what happens next on his journey? He is rewarded with a fabulous job that perhaps had he not followed the lion, he would never have acquired! He gets to be the King’s bodyguard. Why? Because of his huge and scary experiences!
It seems fairly simple when we look at God’s Word. Follow Him. Follow His call. Take His lead. Walk through the door. Go out in the snow. Chase after the scary and challenging. Face your fears. Because when you do…..the scariest things can most certainly be the most wonderful God-opportunities.
Believe me, I know. I’m sitting here looking out a window, over the snowy mounds, at a big beautiful church and a wonderful job provided for me, thanks to walking out the door of ChurchLand, and heading out to find the lion.
Chasing lions in the snow? Maybe not such a bad thing after all.