I am doing a study with Matt on Wednesday nights called, "In the Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day." It's a book by a guy named Mark Batterson, and it's been rocking my world. It's based around 2 Samuel 23: 20.
There was also Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior from Kabzeel. (I can't say those names either.) 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."
Now have you ever once heard that verse? ME EITHER! (Sorry. Irrelevant.)
Batterson says, "[God] is always using past experiences to prepare us for future opportunities. But those God-given opportunities often come disguised as man-eating lions. And how we react when we encounter those lions will determine our destiny. We can cower in fear and run away... or we can chase our God-ordainded destiny by seizing the God-ordained opportunity."
The book talks about becoming a "lion chaser." The lion is whatever fears we have that hold us back from what God wants for us--the fear of rejection or looking stupid or failure, or anything that keeps us frozen where we are.
Benaiah CHASED the lion in the pit. It didn't chase him. He took a risk, and because of it, met his God-given potential. 2 Samuel 23:23 says, "And David put [Benaiah] in charge of his bodyguard." Had Benaiah snuck away in fear from his lion, the opportunity of a lifetime would have passed him by. Batterson says, "The greatest opportunities [are] the scariest lions."
If you know me well at all, you know that the fear of being rejected or failing terrifies me more than anything else. I spent four years working on a book that I poured my heart and soul into and now here I am offering it up to others to judge it. What I want to do is keep it all to myself and not take a risk--or find a corner and vomit... what I HAVE to do is get over it, get tough, and go chase my lion.
I recently read a blog by a literary agent name Rachelle Gardner. She wrote, "Once you're a published author, you're going to have a target on your back. You will offer up your words to strangers. Not everyone will like what you write. You'll be naked and vulnerable in front of the world. You'll make mistakes, you may offend people. And you will not be safe.They will write things publically about you, on their blogs, on your blog, on book review sites, or on Amazon." She ended with, "Regardless of who you are or how kind-hearted your intent, if you're a writer in pursuit of publication, eventually you're going to be judged. Carry a shield."
I have a feeling me and Benaiah are going to get really close before this thing gets published. And I believe it will. It may take a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, but it will. I'm praying for big things, and the big God who gave this to me listens. So, I am chasing this lion. I'm scared, yes, but I'm determined.
And wow... I COVET your prayers. I have been asking Him just to help me get it into the right hands. I think He'll take it from there. Do you have a lion you need to be chasing?