Monday, April 18, 2016

A Lion Sanctuary

  After a spending most of the day with a terrible headache and feeling nauseous, I headed off to bed as soon as I got Jellybean's feeding pump set up for the night. It did not take long for sleep to take over but too quickly it disappeared. At a quarter to one, I jolted awake because of my dream. This same dream pops up and disturbs my sleep on occasion.

 There I am living my life doing ordinary things - laundry, cooking, yardwork. So far it sounds kind of boring for a dream, huh? Things change though and it gets a lot more frightening. Lions, ravenous and angry, are stalking me. At first, I find ways to hide but eventually, they find ways to get at me. Before I awoke this time, I was in a car with my husband when we were being pursued all around by several lions. 

  It sounds silly but it is beyond terrifying and I am still awake over an hour later with 1 Peter 5:8 running through my head. 
 "Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."

 This verse has been one that I have studied a lot. Even in these wee hours of morning I find myself pulling up sermons and commentaries. In the beginning of my walk with Christ, I had lots of struggles with wanting to be in control and protect myself. The church I was attending only strengthened my resolve that this was necessary. When we finally left I was of the mindset that there was no one in church that you could be close to and that it was very necessary to keep at a distance. This is how I had lived my live before Christ, too, hiding myself away so I could not be hurt. 

 I am not sure how I thought that meshed with God's Word but it is what I felt. A few years later, Truth started to chip away at the walls I had built and God moved to put me in situations that showed me clearly what a contradiction to His Truth was my thinking. 

  Oddly (or should I say providentially), I just recently found an old journal where I wrote what I entitled, "The Lion Sanctuary" based from 1 Peter 5:8 likening what I was doing to fencing in a yard that has a few lions in it. I discussed how I had spent years putting up walls to keep myself safe only to shockingly realize that I had enclosed myself with something much more dangerous. 

 After reading through 1 Peter 5 tonight and reading sermons on it. One message hit me. You cannot be a lone Christian. God did not design us that way. Look at the pictures He paints of Christianity: a body, a flock. All denote that multiple members are involved. Sadly though I find myself with planks and a hammer in hand today.

 Why would I repeat such a foolish thing?

 The scariest thing in this world is being a sheep without a flock. As a matter of a fact, I am not sure that it is even possible to be one technically. 

 Is this the struggle I will have to wrestle with in my time here on earth? Just yuk! Blaah! Thinking about it makes me sick to my stomach and at the moment, God has not given me a clear answer so I must continue where I am holding fast to Truth and obedience and refusing to give anything to the efforts of building a lion sanctuary. 

 Let me encourage you as well to not hide yourself away. Even if you are feeling hurt by those in your church, it is much better to wrestle with resolving the issues than shutting yourself off. God knows the hidden places of the heart and those lions are not looking to snuggle with you. 

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