In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day
There is a passage in The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe when the children find out that the Aslan they are about to meet is a lion. I believe Susan asks Mr. Beaver, “Is he safe?” Mr. Beaver responds, “Safe? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
Since the first time I read the Chronicles of Narnia, that struck me. And although Mark Batterson does not make reference to this passage in his book, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, I think it would agree that it corresponds. In a Pit essentially talks about risking for God - & risking big. First off, the title comes from 2 Samuel 23.20-21. Mr. Batterson talks about the risks Benaiah takes in the few verses many people skim right over.
Throughout the course of the book, Mr. Batterson identifies the qualities of a “lion chaser”. God always uses past experiences to prepare us for future opportunities – but those God-given opportunities often come disguised as man-eating lions. Mr. Batterson states this truth from his own life – The greatest opportunities have been the scariest lions.
Throughout In a Pit, Mr. Batterson tells stories of his own lion chasing adventures as well as other people both within the Bible & within his own circle of reference. Stories of great risk – but not just risk for the sake of risking, but risky moves for the Kingdom. Mr. Batterson says that if you are willing to risk everything, there is nothing that God cannot do through you.
The chapters which Mr. Batterson calls, survival guides for lion chasers basically tell the reader to lay it all on the line for God. The skills are:
1. Defy Odds
2. Face Fear
3. Reframe Problems
4. Embrace Uncertainty
5. Take Risks
6. Seize Opportunity
7. Look Foolish
Mr. Batterson quotes Von Goethe in his chapter on taking risks (my personal favorite): “Hell begins the day God grants you the vision to see all that you could have done, should have done, & would have done, but did not do.” Wow. Mr. Batterson admits that there is a time to be prudent, but there is also a time to be valiant.
Tying this in with The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe, Jesus is not about safety. He did not promote backseat driving. The Scripture is full of men & women would risked & risked huge for God - & God blessed them. Just as Aslan is not safe, neither is God. So that follows (in my mind, at least…& I think in the mind of Mr. Batterson) that we should not play it safe when it comes to Kingdom living.
As I was reading this book, I kept reading portions to my wife. I found myself challenged by it on practically every page. This is definitely a book the church leader needs to read.
In the spirit of this book as well, my wife & I are taking a risk. I came across this article from Rick Warren’s newsletter. I identified with the author & forwarded it on to my sister & my wife. My wife immediately responded back by saying that God placed it on her heart to go to the conference this year (which is in 2 weeks). We live with my parents right now because money is tight. We don’t have the money to go out to California to a conference. But God has orchestrated enough signs that we should go. We don’t know how we are going to pay for it all, but we are going. God is going to work something in us at this conference & we have to be there!
All that to say, take risks! Be a Benaiah. Also, you will find this book wildly encouraging & challenging. Pick up a copy here for 20% off.