Religion Magazine

Are You in Your Own Way?

By Mochocki @mochocki

I just finished reading “In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day” by Mark Batterson. It’s a long title but explains exactly what the book is about – the Bible story of Benaiah who chases a lion into a pit on, you guessed it, a snowy day. (2 Samuel 23:20)

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson

The topic of Chapter 4 is “reframing.” One of the paragraphs discusses that we need to rethink prayer.

If we did an honest assessment of our prayer lives, I think we’d be amazed at the percentage of prayers aimed at problems reduction. Most of us pray that God would keep us out of pits with lions a on a snowy day… But if these problems are just opportunities in disguise, our prayers are totally misdirected. (Chapter 4)

The second I read this line, I set down my Nook and said, “God, help me face the challenges you have planned for me. Help me accept the burdens that will be placed before me. Help me have the courage to chase any lion and know you will help me defeat it if that is Your will.”

Are our prayers misdirected? How often do we pray for blessings rather than opportunities?

God’s timing is so perfect (well, of course it is, it’s God!). Just a few days ago I was dealing with unnecessary stress and trying to talk my way out of it instead of trusting God to handle it. A majority of my stress was from trying to discern my calling. I have to admit now that it was silly. The last thing God wants to do is make our lives miserable while trying to fulfill His plans.

We get in the way of ourselves.

We get in the way of God.

As soon as I read that paragraph, I knew exactly what I was doing wrong. I wanted God to make things easy. I didn’t want to fight a lion. I wanted to get right to the good stuff. I wanted to get right to the glory part.

But that’s not my path.

And it’s not up to me to decide when and how my path will be laid before me.

God is in the business of strategically positioning us in the right place at the right time. But the right place often seems like the wrong place, and the right time often seems like the wrong time. (Chapter 1)

Those were my thoughts exactly. Just because I’m being called now doesn’t mean I will be acting now. I am so afraid of missing my “time” that I want to make it happen on my own. But it doesn’t work like that. Two additional sentences hit me from Chapter 3:

“You can’t reason with irrational fears.”

“Faith is the process of unlearning your irrational fears.”

If my calling is truly of God, He’s not going to let me miss my “time.” And if I do, it’s most likely not just a one-shot deal. Why would he waste His time on me for 25 years for just one brief moment in time? I think when the situation arises, I will know. He will be there right beside me saying, “Yep, here it is.” And I will be prepared for it.

If tomorrow I was asked to give a talk at the conference of my dreams, I would be the worst speaker there and my future as a speaker would be over. I’m not ready for that now even if that is the end plan. I am only familiar with parts of the Bible. I have no problems with public speaking, but I don’t have a story ready. I’m not even quite sure what my message is.

In God’s time, all will be revealed. However, it won’t necessarily be easy. And, we definitely need to learn how to trust. David could have looked at Goliath and thought, “you know what, I have a dentist appointment that I just remembered I need to be at” and walked away. But he didn’t. The same goes for Benaiah. He didn’t need to chase the lion. But he did. It was his destiny. It was a battle he had to engage in to allow him to continue down his path (2 Samuel 23:23).

What challenges have led you to great opportunities?

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