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Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

I read an old, yet very familiar section of Scripture today—the Old Testament story of young David in his shepherding days. When King Saul accuses David of being too puny to confront the giant Goliath who has been hanging around and taunting the Israelite army, David calmly sticks up for himself:

“Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion

or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed

both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be

like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living

God. The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and

the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”

(1 Samuel 17:34-37, NIV, italics mine for emphasis)

Lions and bears are large, dangerous, wild animals. We usually watch lions contained within safe enclosures in zoos, and we generally view bears out in nature from a reasonable distance.

Yet David, rather than hiding from them or cowering at their approach, pursued them.

David went after the lions, wolves, and bears in his life.

David’s calm, matter-of-fact outlook on life encourages me that I can face my troubles head-on too. I need not be afraid of my adversary, Satan, when those lion-sized trials, heartaches, and difficulties come looking to destroy my faith or tear apart my peace of mind.

When fear arrives with the doctor’s announcement today that my husband’s prostate cancer has returned, through faith in Christ, I can go after that fear, smash it, and kill it in the name of Jesus.

When that sense of hopelessness about the disappointing status of a marriage returns, I can seize that feeling, know it comes straight from the liar and the pit of hell, and enjoy the restoration of my faith and peace that only Jesus can give.

When that “lion” of disbelief lurks, the one that tells me my wayward child will never trust in the Lord, I can grab it by its nasty hair, strike it with the sword of the spirit, and kill its ability to discourage me ever again.

I can boldly do battle with all my enemies, for those lions and tigers and bears are not welcome in my camp. Jesus, my Lion of Judah, is greater than any adversary, and he is with me.

Through Him, I will overcome.

Because of His victory, I will be victorious too.

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