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Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!


Did you know that there are more than 120 species of animals mentioned in the Bible, some of which we're quite unfamiliar with? There's the Addax, a light-colored antelope. (Deut. 14:5). There's the Cormorant, a large, black water bird (Lev. 11:17...not to be confused with the Pokémon character!). There's the Hoopoe (Lev. 11:19), the Kite (Lev. 11:14), and the Monitor Lizard (Lev. 11:30).


But among the animals mentioned most...is the lion, the second-largest big cat in the world, but perhaps the most powerful. I think about the fact that my mom’s really vicious poodle only weighed about 12 pounds; lions, on the other hand, weigh upwards of 400 pounds, making them one of the world's most dangerous predators. If a lion latches onto your hand, you won't be extending it to greet anyone any time soon; like maybe never! Lions kill about 250 humans a year, so it’s not a very good idea to saddle up next to one and take a nap.

But there's a guy in the Bible who did just that. I know, you've already thought of the story: Daniel and the Lion's Den. After refusing to bow and pray to a pagan God, he was thrown to the lions; the objective being to kill him quickly and viciously, but the big furry guys surprisingly lost their appetite. No, it wasn't Daniels cheap cologne; it was his God--Jehovah God, Almighty God--the God who can do anything as easily as He can do anything else. I hope you know Him.

Feeling like you're in a lion's den these days, a dark place, a lonely place, a dangerous place, a frightening place? Feel like there's no way out? I understand. I have those "dungeon days" too. Which "lions" are you wrestling with? Fear? How about loneliness or doubt? How about aging, or worry, or finances, an addiction, or a wayward child? How about a mate who never listens, or a former friend who suddenly rejected you? Those are some BIG lions, aren't they...all of them. Do you remember what Daniel did when he looked in their their eyes, and they reciprocated? Two things: 1) He kept praying, and 2) He kept believing; simple but excruciatingly difficult things to do when the lions are circling.

So, what's the alternative? Dear one, there is none. If there were alternatives, they would rank far below Daniel's two choices. Remember the outcome of his choices? While the king worried all night that he'd made a terrible mistake, Daniel turned the lions into "My Pillow." Scripture says "God shut their mouths," and Daniel slept like he was in a SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet! Go figure. I love the way the story ends. It says, "No wound was found on Daniel, because He trusted in his God."

Do you...I mean...TRUST? Perhaps a better question is, "Will you?" It isn't a feeling dear one; it's a choice. I encourage you today to pray this prayer: "Lord, please shut the mouths of the lions in my life." A simple, but possible prayer, through faith.

Your circumstances may not change all that much...but your heart will. I would call it "flipping the script" and becoming as bold as your "lion." Here's a scripture for you, “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.”(Pro. 28:1).

Here's what I'm saying: "Faith down your lion." Or, at a minimum, lay down on something soft and take a nap. Things will seem better sooner rather than later. "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." (Ps. 30:5)

And the lions? Oh, they're never completely go away; life's just that way...but guess what? We have a God who can keep them in their place. Aren't you glad? Me too.

"olins, dan, tigres, and reabs, oh ym!" See, they're getting fuzzier and fainter by the minute.

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