Scripture doesn’t explain what Benaiah was doing or where he was going when he crossed paths with the lion. We don’t know the time of day or his frame of mind. But Scripture does reveal his reaction, and it was a gutsy one.
Put yourself in Benaiah’s snowshoes.
Your vision is obscured by falling snow and frozen breath. Out of the corner of your eye you detect movement. Pupils dilate. Muscles flex. Adrenaline rushes. It’s a prowling lion stalking its prey, you.
In the wild, man vs. lion scripts the same way every time. Man runs, lion chases, King of the Beasts eats manwich for lunch. But Benaiah flips the script. That’s what courage does! I don’t know if it was the look in his eye or the spear in his hand, but the lion turns tail and Benaiah gives chase.
He tracks paw prints in the freshly fallen snow, finally coming to the place where the ground has given way beneath the lion’s five-hundred-pound frame. Yellow eyes glare back from out of the pit. Benaiah takes a leap, disappearing into the darkness. A deafening roar echoes off the walls of the cavernous pit, followed by a bloodcurdling battle cry.
Then silence, dead silence.
What has happened? Who has won?
At last a human form reaches up and climbs out of the pit. Drops of blood color the snow crimson. Claw marks crisscross Benaiah’s spear arm.
Against all odds, the valiant warrior from Kabzeel has earned an epic victory.
In every dream journey, there comes a moment when you have to quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. You have to go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention.
You have to go big or go home.
You have to take the road less traveled or settle for status quo.
You have to bite the bullet or turn your back on your dreams.
If you find yourself in a pit with a lion on a snowy day, you’ve got a decision to make. A decision that will determine your destiny. You can run away from what you are afraid of, but you’ll be running the rest of your life. Or you can face your fears, taking a flying leap of faith, and chase the lion!
What is your “lion”? What are you going to do with it?
By Mark Batterson