She rounded a bend but stopped, horrified. There, in her path, was the most rank, hideous lion she’d ever seen. Great patches of fur had fallen from his hide, leaving open, putrid sores oozing a foul slime. The wind, now blowing from his direction, brought with it his rotting aroma. He immediately saw her and began roaring and lunging toward her, but not attacking. Too frightened to wonder much about that at first, she stared at him, not able to form any plans.
Between the roars, the wolves continued to howl, now sounding closer than before. She wasn’t sure what she should do. It seemed she had only two choices, try to get around the beast in front of her, or let the wolves catch her. Suddenly she caught a glimpse of a collar around his neck and a chain attached to some anchor that she could not see.
With a bare glimmer of hope, she decided she’d try to get around the horrible creature. She prayed a quick prayer, and leaned herself as tightly as she could against the solid rock wall. The closer she inched toward the beast, the more frightened she grew, wondering how she was able to continue.
Her approached seemed to enrage the animal even more than before. She was now a mere ten feet from him. He strained at the collar and chain, lunging, roaring, and almost knocking her over with his stinking smell. Inch by eternal inch brought her closer to him. Never taking his eyes off him for a moment, she was now directly in from of him, and could see his broken, jagged teeth. His eyes raged red, his paws vainly tried to swipe at her. Maddened by his inability to drag his prey down, he strained at the chain. Would it hold?
Life is perilous. We often find ourselves in situations that frustrate us and threaten our lives. Again and again, we find our humanity only too willing to betray us to the enemy. It’s difficult living with an inner Judas, but there it is. He or she (depending on our gender) is hidden within, looking for the opportunity to sell us out to the enemy of our souls.
In his letter, Peter tells us to be self-controlled and alert. He reminds us that the enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Who of us haven’t experienced the roaring lion’s approach? But thanks be to God, that lion is chained. It’s up to us not to wander too close to it, but as we trust in the Lord he protects us from the lion springing on us and always provides us a way of escape. What an awesome blessing.
For me, my husband John and other good friends are the way of escape the Lord provides. John gives such sound advice, and I have found over the years that to listen to him saves me from much regret. He’s a great man, and I thank the Lord for his strong leadership in my life.
And there are others who have been placed in my life that help me in my difficulties; and it could be said that I am here to help and pray for them in theirs. We are in this together, none of us are islands. God gives us himself as well as those around us to support us. That great cloud of witnesses Hebrews talks about are those who are walking with us down the earthly path we pilgrims wander, but also those who have gone on before us and are cheering us on.
Finally, although she didn’t know how, she passed the beast. She thanked the Lord for her deliverance. When she lifted her eyes, she looked back in time to see the wolves running around the bend. Too surprised to stop, the lion killed both, and began to devour them. She ran from the appalling sight.