“Benaiah was the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man from Kabzeel, who had done many deeds. He had killed two lion-like heroes of Moab. He also had gone down and killed a lion in the midst of a pit on a snowy day. ” -2 Samuel 23: 20
In the midst of a pit on a snowy day, Benaiah crossed path with a five-hundred-pound lion. With his vision obscured by a heavy falling snow and frozen breath, he detects a movement. Pupils dilate. Muscles flex. Adrenaline rushed. The lion is moving, staking. A fully grown lion that can run thirty-six miles per hour and leap thirty feet in a single bound has its glaring eyes focused on its prey…
Benaiah does not stand a chance but with a fierce look in his eye and a spear in his hand, he summoned his two-o’clock-in-the-morning courage and chased the lion with all his guts. A man vs lion. Benaiah gives chase – he tracked paw prints in the freshly fallen snow. He peers into the pit. Yellow cat eyes glare back. Benaiah getting a running start, he turns around and takes a flying leap of faith, disappearing into the darkness. A deafening roar echoes off the walls of the cavernous Pitt, followed by a bloodcurdling battle cry. He reaches up and climbs out the pit. Drops of blood colour the snow crimson. Claw marks crisscross Benaiah’s spear arm. But against all odds, the valiant warrior from Kabzeel earns an epic victory. In the midst of a pit on a snowy day, Benaiah killed the Lion.
Of course, the scripture doesn’t explain it this way but to me, I imagined it as similar as to what must have happened – an epic man vs lion fight.
Chase the five-hundred-pound lion
Summon your two-o’clock-in-the-morning courage, render yourself ready to run. Not from what are afraid of, but ready to chase the lion. Yes, it’s time to face your fears, take a flying leap of faith and run the race. Time to chase the five-hundred-pound lion that is flexing its muscle facing towards you.
Faithfulness is chasing five-hundred-pound lion.
It’s easier said than done, to say that you can live all against what you feel, in the midst of a pit on a snowy day – in the midst of where all your emotions intensify and worsens. Fear can creep into you like a snake in the darkness, it paralyzes every inch of you. It eventually becomes painful as fear injects a most graphical image in your head. It’s so vivid that it feels so real and so present. BUT IT’S NOT! It’s a lie. It’s the most disgusting lie.
I have been highly driven by my emotions that I have quit, walked away, lost and failed. I leaned against the wrong wall that I ended making all the wrong decisions. I made decisions based on feelings, emotional lust and infatuation. I ran away from the things I’m afraid of, and I have loved all the things that made me feel satisfied. I had pursued all the wrong things that as a consequence, and it has wounded and scarred me deeply…
It took a deep gash of a wound for me to summon my two-o’clock-in-the-morning courage. With my two knees and my nose pressed down on the floor, I took a flying leap of faith to turn what I believe my feelings and emotions are telling me, to what I believe God is really speaking into my life.
Like Benaiah giving chase to the lion, I have learned to look around and look at the enemy in the face, and make that decision to press in and trust not my thoughts, my feelings and my emotions, but to trust God’s promise and what the holy spirit is really telling me. Like holding a spear in my right hand which I always forget I possess, I take a flying leap of faith like disappearing into the darkness and only trusting what my gut is telling me, by only believing that God is there. He’s there, He’s already there and He has already begun a good, immeasurable work in my life. That to obtain them, is to chase the five-hundred-pound lion with a two-o’clock-in-the-morning courage.
But I had to make it a decision; a daring decision to summon my courage, and chase the lion. To chase my dreams, to trust God’s promise in my life in spite of the heavy falling snow – in spite of what my emotions, my past and my current situation, and in spite of what I feel which is wanting to go south and disappear, to not be here. I had to choose and make it a commitment to persevere, to not leave and not turn back, to push through, and to press in through prayers and devotions like never before. To trust in the impossible notwithstanding a lion roaring in front of me.
Destiny is not a mystery. It is a decision, a daring decision, a counterintuitive decision.
When we make a decision not on love but on lust, not on devotion but emotion, not in information but infatuation; as quick as we fall in love in the idea of God’s promise in our life, it is as quick as we fall out of love when we think He’s not coming through. Promise delayed is not a promise denied. To persevere, it can’t be based just on our emotions and on our fleeting feelings. It’s got to be grounded on something bigger and it’s got to be a decision and a choice that we make – a daring decision. An old man once said, “Destiny is the bridge you build to the one you love.” Yes, a bridge you build. A bridge you construct, invest into and put your hope into – all strongly found not on mere man fleeting feelings and emotions, but in love which is based on a decision, commitment and devotion.
It is a choice. A choice that I hope I will always have strength and courage to follow. But my journey has only begun, and like most of the ‘lion-chasers’, I will constantly need an eye for remarkable moments and amazing opportunities.
If your hopes, dreams and God’s promises in your life don’t scare you, it’s too small. God honours big hopes and dreams because big dreams honour God. But we will have to see them to seize them. Then like most of us needs, we will need a two-o’clock-in-the-morning courage to chase them and it will always be a moment of crossing path with a five-hundred-pound lion.