I used to live on a sheep farm. I know, that’s a random fact, and one most people would be shocked to learn about me, but it’s true. When I was a little girl, I lived in a farmhouse with a sheep farm setting directly to the left of the house. Some of my favorite memories as a child are of me coming home after school each day and helping feed-up (what we called feeding the sheep). Although there was nothing particularly special about a flock of sheep, I loved taking care of the lambs. Often, a mother sheep would reject a lamb, and I would get to feed the lamb bottles and treat it like my very own pet/baby, and I loved it.
I guess that’s why I’ve always been able to picture Christ as the Lamb of God, like He’s called in the Bible. Yet there’s one name I’ve never been able to understand – the Lion of Judah. In my mind, those two things don’t mesh. I struggle to see how Jesus can be both a lamb and lion, and I can’t help but wonder if others also struggle with this same dilemma. But then, maybe that’s why so many people struggle to fully trust God. We can easily picture Him as the gentle, passive lamb, but we can’t imagine Him roaring like a lion over our lives.
Stop and think about it. What does a lion do? He’s fierce, he protects, he defends, he hunts, and he provides for his tribe. A lion is the exact opposite of a lamb. A lamb is calm, gentle, and loving, which is why we always hear Jesus referred to as the Lamb of God. He loves us so much, He willingly gave His life for us on the cross. He sacrificed His life so that we might live. Yet sometimes, we need more than a lamb in our lives. Sometimes the problems of this world become too much to handle and we need a fierce, protective lion to roar over our lives.
When we hear the doctor’s prognosis and we wonder how we can fight the disease, we need a lion. When a spouse walks out and we wonder how we’ll survive the heartache, we need a lion. When more bills come in than we have money to pay, we need a lion. When a problem comes out of the blue and we don't know what to do, we need a lion. And when we think we’ve reached the limit of what we can handle, we need a lion.
There are countless times in the Bible when something bad happened to a person and he cried out to God, and God fought for him in a way we dream about. My favorite story like this is found in 2 Chronicles 20 when several nations declared war on Judah. Terrified, the people came together and fasted and prayed for God to intervene. Verse 12 says, “For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.” In verses 15-17 God responded back by saying, “Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s….You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the Lord is with you.”
God longs to do the same thing in your life. He hasn’t changed. He’s still the same God of the Bible. His power hasn’t diminished, and He hasn’t used it all on other people. He’s just waiting for you. All you have to do is come to Him, trust Him to work, and keep your eyes on Him no matter what the circumstances of your life look like. You may not get the answer to your prayers in the way you hoped, but I guarantee you’ll see the Lion of Judah come and roar over your life.
“The Lord roars from Zion…and the heavens and the earth quake. But the Lord is a refuge to His people.” ~ Joel 3:16
*If you missed last week’s devotion in the series “Learning to Thrive,” read it by clicking this link: http://www.erinelizabethaustin.com/blog/god-are-you-there
© July 31, 2014