For some reason my psyche just was not up to it, walking into a situation that made me very uncomfortable. A place I had been many times before, and yet this time seemed threatening. I looked woefully at my husband…”I feel like I’m walking into the lions’ den.”
In the Old Testament the prophet Daniel was cast into the lions’ den, literally, for breaking a newly formed law. He prayed to God rather than the ruling king of Babylon, an offense punishable by death. Yet miraculously God provided, and shut the mouths of the lions. Daniel survived his all night ordeal, greeting the king at the light of day as the cover of the den was removed. God won. And those who had conspired to destroy that man of God were themselves ordered by the king to be thrown into the pit, where they perished. Today I feared lions. Tonight I am home, alive and well, my fears instead thrown into the pit.
Anxiety. How does one face such a fearsome foe, especially one that springs from fear itself? Today I asked the God of Daniel, the Biblical Creator God, the God Who through Jesus’ sacrifice has brought redemption to the world, the God Who promised His Holy Spirit would abide in those who chose to believe and follow Him, He Who walked with me into my lions’ den today, just because I asked Him.
I was desperate. I truly did not know how in my own power, creativity, intellect, or any other ability I would be able to deal with the day’s agenda. So, I asked. God and I had a chat, though I did most of the talking it seems. He is a great listener, by the way. I can tell Him honestly anything. And as I simply stated how afraid I was, asked Him to walk before me into the situation, to give me a spirit of peace as I walked into the place I was going, He began to remind me that the battle is truly all His anyway.
Fear does not come from God. It is a weapon from the enemy of our souls who would diminish and destroy us. Today God fought that enemy for me. Trusting in Him to shut the jaws of that fearsome foe, my mind stayed on His goodness throughout the day, and I watched in amazement as His Holy Spirit of Peace led me through. It was incredible really, in a deeply calm sort of way. Unexpected problems arose that were step by step resolved in an orderly fashion. Even the topic of anxiety was discussed with another dear one, and of God’s goodness to defeat it.
The longer I am a Christ follower the more amazed I am at the power, love, and trustworthiness of a Good God Who actually shows up when we need Him. Certainly there have been times I’ve wondered if He was really there, but after today’s experience I find honest openness and need (maybe desperation!), rather than a flippant vending machine attitude allowed me to see Him working. That “peace that passes all understanding” was evident not only in me, but also in the place I walked into, and the people I was involved with. Many prayers were answered today as dear Bible Study friends also lifted up prayers on my behalf. What a joy to experience such love! And to find again the pertinence of stories of the God of the Old Testament Who is still the living, breathing, powerfully alive God of today. I know. I survived a lions’ den.
Thank You, LORD, for Your abounding love towards us. May we recognize Your presence, listen to Your voice, and learn to walk ever more closely with You. For You are the One Who gives us strength to overcome, the One Who saves. The power is all from You, Lord! Thank You so much that You love each one of us so intimately! In Jesus’ precious name, Amen!
To read more about Daniel and the Lions’ Den see Daniel 6:1-28