Recently, I have picked up the book In the Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson. The book is based around a passage of scripture in 2 Samuel 23:20-23. Here is the scripture:
20 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was a valiant man of Kabzeel, a doer of great deeds. He struck down two ariels of Moab. He also went down and struck down a lion in a pit on a day when snow had fallen. 21 And he struck down an Egyptian, a handsome man. The Egyptian had a spear in his hand, but Benaiah went down to him with a staff and snatched the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear. 22 These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and won a name beside the three mighty men. 23 He was renowned among the thirty, but he did not attain to the three. And David set him over his bodyguard.
I want to focus in on the end of verse 20 for a moment. “He also went down and struck down a lion in a pit on a day when snow had fallen.” (2 Samuel 23:20b) First off, how many of us would willingly go into a pit with a lion waiting inside? Secondly, what are the chances of killing a 500 pound lion in a pit on a snowy day? These are literal questions that the book raises, but Batterson looks at the symbolism behind it all. He urges people to be like Benaiah and be lion chasers. What are things that look like a huge challenge (aka- a lion) that only God could conquer?
I personally have been marking up my book, trying to capture these great quotes. One of my favorite quotes is, “the biggest risks were the greatest opportunities” (Batterson 10). Chasing a 500 pound lion is a huge risk. When we continue to read on, we see that Benaiah also killed an Egyptian with his spear. Once again, this was another risk that Benaiah undertook.
With both of these actions, Benaiah was appointed to be King David’s bodyguard. It was due to the risks that he took that provided the one of the best jobs in the kingdom. He looked after the king. He became one of the most trusted people around King David. While Benaiah’s risks were great, the opportunities that arose were even greater. What would happen if you took a small risk for God today? Could that risk turn into an opportunity share Christ with someone? Would sharing Christ with someone be a lion in your life? God could use you in a way that you never expected.
It was a big risk for me to move to Guatemala; I left everything that I’ve ever known. I had traveled out of the country before for short-term mission trips to Poland and Macedonia during college, but I had never lived more than 27 miles outside the state of Tennessee. During those two short-term trips, I felt God tugging on my heart about moving overseas. During my second year of interning at Rolling Hills Community Church, the college ministry came to Guatemala to work with Engadi. Within the first 24 hours being in the country for the first time with RHCC, God confirmed that this is where I was supposed to move. So, I began fundraising.
If I had stayed in Nashville, I could have had an opportunity to have a full-time job that would have kept me comfortable and in a place that I love. Leaving all of this was truly a risk. Instead, I moved to a place where I only knew one person (Nathan), who I actually had only spent six days with total. Even now, I think that I was crazy. But even in the fundraising and the move, I can see that God was completely in control. Moving here has been one of the best experiences of my life. If I hadn’t chased that lion into the pit, I would have never experienced spending time in homes with other brothers and sisters in Christ here in Guatemala, seeing the beauty of another culture, or even learning a new language. Have there been hard moments? Of course! Chasing a lion into a snowy pit would be hard too!
Be a Lion Chaser! Take a risk so that God can reveal what only He can do!