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1 Samuel 17:48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran toward the battle line to meet him.

Daniel 6:23 .....and Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him because he trusted in God. Esther 4:14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?"

I'm just back from a trip to Alaska and planning a trip to Africa next fall so I've been thinking about bears and lions. The picture is of me and Leo. He's pretty tame because he's about 50 years old. I know because it was my childhood toy. He must be indestructible because if you pull the string he still talks perfectly.

Did you know that it's the lady lion's that does the "lion's share" of the work? OK ladies, I sense those thoughts, "just like at home right?" It's true. The lioness has no mane and it's useful to help conceal her as she does most of the hunting. She stalks her prey silently, stealthily, from a distance. It's the intimidating male lion with his big mane and earth shaking roar that causes the prey to run from him right into the jaws of the waiting lioness. The unsuspecting gazelle would be better served by running toward the roar. As a veteran of many trips to Alaska I regularly hear the "If faced with a bear talk". You can't out run a bear, in fact the absolute worst thing you can do is try. You could just as well ring the dinner bell because you have presented yourself to the bear as prey. If you can't slip quietly and slowly away, you are advised to raise your arms, make yourself big, and make a lot of noise. If that does not work play dead. Wow, I hope I never have to make those kinds of decisions. Most of us will never have a close encounter with a lion or bear, but most of us have faced scary circumstances. Those kind of things that you just don't want to face. The loss of a loved one. Finding a new job after you lost the last one. Starting over after a bankruptcy. Terminating an employee you really care about. Starting cancer treatment. Dealing with infertility. What are those beasts in your life whose roar leaves you wanting to run? Maybe we should learn from the Bible what to do in these situations. David ran into battle against the intimidating giant who scared much larger, experienced warriors. Of course he had already faced the roar and knew God had helped him defeat a lion and a bear (1 Samuel 17:34-37). Daniel continued to pray even though he knew he would be thrown into the lion's den. He trusted God to close the mouth of the lion's and he did. God did not need Esther, but Esther needed God. God made it clear he had other ways to deliver the Jews, but he had raised her up for just "such a time as this". It was clear what would happen to her and her family if she ran in fear. I guess God calls us to pray instead of be prey; to face our fears, and trust him. Run toward the roar and not into the jaws of the hiding lioness. God may have raised you up for "such a time as this". As for Leo? He's pretty tame. A bit like the lion in the Wizard of Oz. Maybe I'll give him to a grandchild someday. I am looking forward to spotting some real lions in Africa next year and I hope you'll join me. Check out the details below and join us for some dessert at our upcoming information meetings. Until then, remember, run toward the roar.

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