Apparently one way to age a lion is by scarring on its face. Scars show the fearless characteristic of a lion. The bible calls the righteous “as bold as a lion”. The scars of those who survive and thrive are evidence enough of their bold faith and tenacious perseverance!
“The wicked flee though no one pursues,
but the righteous are as bold as a lion.”
Do you notice the difference between the “wicked” and the “righteous”? One runs from harmless shadows, the other faces real and impending threat squarely. We have to admit, there isn’t much a lion will back down from.
Brave of Heart
To be lionhearted describes someone who is unflinchingly brave and courageous in the face of danger.
In the months ahead, I will be sharing stories of personal heroism demonstrated in the lives of some incredible people I know and appreciate.
Though none would consider themselves either brave or “bold as a lion”, their journey reveals a different story. Each one has faced dangers of various kinds. They have the scars to prove it!
Those who thrive hold wisdom like gold dust loosely in their hands. They willingly and with liberality reach into their experiences and share the treasures they have found in Christ, allowing the winds of the Spirit to inspire others. Their stories igniting faith, hope and courage in the rest of us.
“In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
As we examine their lives, we will clearly see the difference between surviving and thriving is rooted in their faith and the unshakable love of Christ.
Love of Christ
Paul prayed for the Ephesian church,
“I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people,
to grasp how wide and long and high
and deep is the love of Christ.”
“In this is love, not that we loved God
but that he loved us…
” 1 John 4:10
God’s love is unconditional! God loves, because He is love!
Courage and bravery are not necessary to somehow merit His love. He loves us as we are. He loves us completely, even in our weakness and frailty. God will never love us more; He has no capacity to love us less.
It is in the basis of this relationship of love that survivors thrive.
Thriving Against all Odds
What makes someone brave? What compels one person to face life’s toughness squarely while another turns and runs?
“Courage is not the absence of fear,
but the triumph over it”
David’s bravery was tested in the pastures with his flock:
“…When a lion or a bear came
and carried off a sheep from the flock,
I went after it, struck it and rescued
the sheep from its mouth.
When it turned on me,
I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed.”
I Samuel 17:34-35
Acts of bravery aren’t always physically!
It takes courage to not only see your own way through difficult, but to lead others into victory as well. “Thrivers” are mothers and fathers who
love with the love of Christ,
disciple younger ones to maturity,
foster godly character,
instill hope and impart vision.
Those Who Thrive Speak
My husband still teases me about my “farmer’s call”. Being the mother of five active sons who enjoyed roaming the acres beyond our farmyard, this “momma” learned to call her young in for supper or bedtime with a distinct “Yoohoo” that could be heard far and wide. It is a non-comparison to a lion’s roar, however!
I have read that the spine-tingling roar of a lion is as loud as a turbo fan of an aircraft on takeoff, reaching 114 decibels. It is one of the loudest voices in the animal kingdom heard up to 8 kilometers away.
Lions roar to tell other lions their location, to show how big they are and to warn lions from other prides to keep away from their home territory.
“They triumphed over him
by the blood of the Lamb and
by the word of their testimony
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.”
As these people share their stories, it may sound more like a whisper than a roar. Truthfully though, God has given them voices that echo through generations, powerfully declaring the faithfulness of Him who is greater, Jesus Christ!
Those who Thrive Rest
I have chosen people who have discovered the power of waiting! Waiting is the womb of courageous strength!
“Wait patiently for the LORD.
Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.”
In the natural, the most intense development and formation occurs within the concealed and protected womb. For these, waiting and trusting in the Lord has formed the foundation of their courage and strength.
Those who have studied lions say it is a boring of occupation. Lions sleep for over 20 hours every day! That is a lot of rest! In resting, a lion conserves strength for when it is most needed. It is also a position of watching; the place where wisdom is gained.
I am excited to use this blogging platform to share their stories. It is my hope that we will all draw from their wisdom, be inspired by their strength, motivated to action, and invited into deeper faith.
“A final word:
Be strong in the Lord
and in his mighty power.”