Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Original Lion Tamer

When I was a kid I loved the times that I went to the circus.  Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus was the one that I got to go to.  I only really remember two things about the circus.  One is that I used to have a kid's plastic mug with a tiger as the handle that I got at the circus, and two is that I can vividly remember the Lion Tamer.  The trick that I remember most was when he had the lion open his mouth really big and holding both the upper jaw and lower jaw, he would put his head in the lion’s mouth.  When you are little and the lion is so huge, that is an amazing trick.  I often wondered who was the first one to start working with lions.  Who decided it would be fun to be in a small enclosed area with such a furious, wild animal?  The answer is actually pretty obvious.  Daniel was the original lion tamer.
Daniel was a man of great faith and conviction.  When a decree was issued stating that no one could pray to any god or man but the king for thirty days, Daniel did not sway from his beliefs and three times a day he prayed and gave thanks to God.   Upon finding out that Daniel had disobeyed the decree, he was thrown into the lion’s den.  The next morning the King who had been tricked into creating the decree in the first place, came to see if Daniel had been saved by God.  Yelling to Daniel through the rock in front of the lion’s den door, Daniel answered him saying that God had sent an angel that calmed the lions and kept them from harming him.
Do you have that kind of conviction?  When faced with the fact that by disobeying the King’s decree you would be thrown into the heart of the lion’s den, would you pray and worship God against the decree?  Daniel had true faith in God.  One can only imagine what it must have been like to be thrown into the lion’s den and then turn to watch as a huge boulder was put in front of the entrance.  As he stood and watched, surly the den became darker and darker as the stone completely covered the entrance.  The eerie feeling of standing in the dark with the sound of heavy breathing and low rumbling growls coming from the lions would have scared anybody.  Did a loud roar, followed by the sound of lions rising up off the ground and walking toward Daniel put chills down his spin?  Just as the lions were closing in on Daniel was there a sudden shining light engulfing Daniel before the angel appeared to help him?  Once the angel came, and the lions backed away, did they talk throughout the night to pass the time or did Daniel sleep?
There are many questions as to what happened in the den of lions, but the fact is that Daniel’s faith kept him safe.  He was given the help of an angel to tame the lions because of his faithfulness to God.  Often in life we are faced with Lions.  The trials and tribulations of life test our faith and tempt us.  These represent our lions.  When difficult situations are put before us we can feel like we have been thrown into the lion's den.  This is when we have to dig deep inside ourselves and find our inner lion tamer.  We have to be like Daniel and have tremendous faith and we must pray to God for guidance and help with the lions of life.  By having faith and conviction, prayer and worship can help to tame any sized lion.  It is up to us to maintain our faith even when there are quicker resolutions to our problems.  Even when everyone else around us is doing something else to combat the lions, we must have faith.  May you find your inner lion tamer and know that God is listening and will protect you from the lions of life. 

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