Adversity: in a pit with a Lion
A popular book right now, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson, reminds me of one of my favorite scenes in 300, where the young King Leonidus must prove himself and finds himself face to face with a snarling beast, on a cold snowy night...wedged into a cavernous hole.
The young king understands his foe.....drawing it to himself by luring it into a narrow place in the cavern, then just as it leaps at him it finds itself caught by the narrow gap and the king thrusts his spear into the beast. Man, I love this film!
Several days ago my sister sent an inspirational message to me regarding viewing adversity as opportunity, in believing that at times, we are thrust into situations to "prove ourselves" or better yet, allow God to prove Himself. A few days back my brother sent me a chapter out of Batterson's In a Pit, entitled the Art of Reframing. I have not read the whole book, but certainly plan to now. I was reminded of a time in my life where I was trying to pray away adversity, asking for a clear path (ie: an easy path), not realizing that in these trials God was producing a platform for significant change.
Batterson writes "if God answered our prayer (to remove adversity), it would rob us of our greatest opportunities. Many of our prayers would short-circuit God's plans and purposes for our lives if He answered them. Maybe we should stop asking God to get us out of difficult circumstances and instead ask Him what He wants us to get out of them."
He goes on to say that "no adversity equals no opportunity.....and that adversity can produce an increased capacity to serve God".
There have been several times where I feel like Leonidus, staring down the jaws of that beast that would gnash my bones to pieces, feeling the cold glare of an enemy and the gash from its claw as it rips into my chest. I won't kid you.....while I am confident in the decision to leave my job, I'm scared as the Hot Gates (300 reference). But I have seen where the adversity that has "woven a thread of irony" to this story has created the opportunity to which I am about to embark, and I pray it does produce an increased capacity to serve my King......the one who created both beast and man.