Benaiah is one of the most inconceivable and inspirational lives in history. His story relates to us living through COVID. Have you heard of Benaiah?
- GOD IS GOOD… AT POSITIONING US IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME.
You and me. Right now, right here. Something good is coming out of this post.
We are alive during the largest worldwide upheaval of a century. Day after day, we are a part of an historic moment that could lead to an era. This tough time is your time to be a light.
Benaiah’s story occupies only a few verses in the Old Testament. You could call him a “B-lister of the Bible”.
1 Chronicles 11:22-24 (NLT) “There was also Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two champions of Moab. 23 Once, armed only with a club, he killed an Egyptian warrior who was 7 1⁄2 feet tall and who was armed with a spear as thick as a weaver’s beam. Benaiah wrenched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with it. Another time, on a snowy day, he chased a lion down into a pit and killed it. 24 Deeds like these made Benaiah as famous as the three mightiest warriors.”
- LIFE IS A SERIES OF OPPORTUNITIES DISGUISED AS TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAYS.
Life can’t get much more terrible, horrible than being in a pit with a lion on a snowy day. Maybe you’re in one of those days /weekends /weeks. Or lives.
Over the past two months I’ve had two emergency surgeries, temporarily lost the sight in my right eye and Jocelyn fell and broke her arm requiring surgery. At one point we couldn’t drive; I couldn’t walk or lift anything and had to lie face down – all day. These days became opportunities to learn humility for two pe0ple used to giving, and become receivers of the kindness of others. And friends and neighbors were SO kind.
Rear View Mirrors
- GOD IS IN THE RECYLCING BUSINESS.
You can land in a pit with a lion on a snowy day, and it will seem like the end of the road. But God is in the recycling business. He recycles past experiences and uses them to prepare us for future opportunities.
- YOUR WORST DAYS CAN BECOME YOUR BEST DAYS
Have you been at a place in your life where you think, “Things couldn’t get worse” and you’re afraid to say that out loud because you fear that somehow they actually could get worse? Your worst day can lead you to your best days. Benaiah’s experience promoted him to lead a King’s mercenary army, which led eventually to the second highest role in the kingdom. And he got his name recorded in the world’s best-selling book.
Jocelyn worked as a customer service rep for the Royal Bank in St Albert. When a bad guy came into the bank brandishing a rifle and yelling for everyone to get down, he went to Jocelyn’s wicket because she was closest to the entrance. Everyone in the bank hit the floor, including the other tellers. When the bad guy put the gun in her face Jocelyn calmly got the money, bagged it, gave it to him and he exited. Later, the other tellers told her, “We knew you were praying.” Jocelyn said, “I wasn’t praying. It was too late to pray. I was thinking, “You better not shoot me and get blood on my new dress.”
That’s Jocelyn. That day built her reputation, deepened relationships, and gave her empathy for trauma victims.
- FOR EVERY SETBACK GOD WILL GIVE YOU A GREATER COMEBACK.
One of our ministry experiences was relocating an historic, downtown church in an iconic, pyramid-shaped facility with an internationally known Singing Christmas Tree, to a farmer’s field in the suburban frontier of Edmonton. We had a huge dream. And we faced whole series of setbacks.
A Dream So Big
In 2000 we had set off confidently in the direction of our dreams and soon discovered that confidence is what you have before you fully understand the situation. But for every setback, God gave us a greater comeback. For three years we couldn’t find land. Setback. Then we found 38.5 acres with a price tag of $1.3 million. Comeback. We had no money. Setback. A developer stepped in to partner with us. Comeback. He backed out on the night before the deal closed. Setback. We decided to go into debt and buy the land. Comeback. Within a year we sold a portion of the land for $1.25 million. So we got the land for $50,000. Now that’s a comeback. Seeing North Pointe today reminds me that God loves comebacks.
- GOD USES TODAY’S TOUGH TIMES TO PREPARE YOU FOR TOMORROW’S OPPORTUNITIES.
God is good at using your weakness to show his strength. People are more interested in your failures and faults than your successes.
Six years ago I was invited to travel across Canada sharing a 15-minute talk about my failures and setbacks. I wasn’t asked to talk about the books I’ve written, the productions I’ve directed, or the leaders I’ve mentored. People learn more from our losses than our successes. Success stories are a dime a dozen. Stories of suffering are worth the blood and sweat and tears that saw you through. People want to know about your pit-lion-and-snowy-days stories because they are in a pit or fighting a lion or trying to cope with a snowy day or all three.
- THERE IS A ROARING LION ON THE LOOSE. THOSE WHO CARE RUN TO THE ROAR.
The world is messed up. Broken homes; fearful; anxious. Mental health challenges, addictions, overdoses, abuse and suicides are mounting.
“Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
Take note that Benaiah chased the lion into the pit. He was protecting people. There are people hearing the roar who need you to run to the roar.
- COURAGE IS WHAT YOU GAIN ON THE WAY TO THE ROAR.
No one is born brave. Benaiah became brave as he chased the lion. We become brave when we dare greatly.
- JESUS SAID A LOT OF THINGS BUT NE NEVER TOLD ANYONE TO PLAY IT SAFE.
If we’re going to get after our ambitions, God doesn’t want us living right in the middle of comfortable. He wants us living on the edge of yikes.
- NO ONE IS FULLY READY TO DO GREAT THINGS.
Jocelyn and I weren’t ready to get married; have kids; relocate a church or transition into an unknown future. The issue is not readiness; it’s willingness.
When you behave bravely, God builds your reputation for His glory.
- FAITH IS TRUSTING GOD FOR THE NEXT STEP.
Faith is simply taking God at His Word and taking the next step. And then the next. Persistently.
Are you living out your purpose to be a witness for Jesus? There are so many other people hearing the lion’s roar that need you to run to the roar. They are your one decision away from a whole new life
- NO RESERVES, NO RETREATS, NO REGRETS.
You will regret only the risks you didn’t take and what you didn’t do for God.
- CHASING LIONS IS SCARY HARD BUT ITS CHRISTIAN WORK
When a 1st century follower of Jesus looked for an illustration to describe the threats around us, he chose a lion to make his point. “Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour… resist him…” (1 Peter 5:8) You are facing internal, snowy days, unseen pits and lions. You face mental health challenges and just getting out of bed in the winter of your soul takes the same courage as jumping in to a pit to slay a lion on a snowy day.
Keep breathing. Stay after it. Move toward your edge where Jesus is waiting for you. God’s not leading us to the safest path forward, but to the one where we’ll grow the most. You were born to be brave.
- JESUS IS LORD OF LIONS, PITS, SNOWY DAYS
If the distance between the Earth and the sun, which is 92 million miles, was the thickness of a piece of paper, the diameter of our galaxy would be a stack of papers 310 miles high. Our galaxy is less than a speck of dust in the part of the universe that we can see. And that part of the universe is a speck of dust compared to all the universe. And if Jesus is the Son of God who holds all this together with the word of his power, is this the kind of person you ask into your life to simply be your personal assistant?
COVID changed some things. Jesus changes everything. He turns setbacks into comebacks, worst days into best days and adversity into opportunity.
Who in your life needs to hear this message? Please leave a comment at the bottom of this post and share this with others. Run to the roar.
Hope grows here. You’ll find stories that inspire, build faith, and offer lasting purpose.
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