"He is not a tame lion," said Tirian. "How should we know what He would do?"
The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis
Recently, I spotted this old print of a lion, beautifully framed. I purchased it on the spot and now it hangs framed over our fireplace in our den. Aslan, the picture of Christ, stands guard in our home.
Always, I desired that my children understand that they, and no one can contain the living God. We spoke of His greatness, His sovereignty, His kingship and Lordship over the world and over our lives.
"I wonder how God is going to use you in this world in your lifetime to bring His power, His beauty, His wisdom to bear in this world. He has called normal people to do great things because He wants to live through them."
And so we spoke to them of a kingdom that would never end and a King Jesus who had dominion over all realms.
Our instruction was not a moralizing kind or a teaching to be good. But following hard after one who was Life Himself and who had created all of His followers to join in the battle for good against evil, love against hate and redeeming back what was his. All of our children knew they were to be warriors for His cause.
When I first ventured out as a missionary into Communist Eastern Europe, I faced many unknowns with my fellow pioneers. Our doors were pounded by police, we smuggled Bibles and Christian materials in our car and sometimes, our knees shook in frightening situations. Our girls that we lived with in our home were questioned by the secret police as Christian ministries were disallowed to exist in a Communist country.
But we believed we were involved in a spiritual revolution for God who was bigger than governments and stronger than any barriers.
The language was quite difficult and we were lonely and there was not much food. No television that we could understand. No cell phones. No personal computers. The food was strange and we ate mostly eggs at almost every meal because we could not get meat very often.
Our parents worried when they heard on the American news that the Russian tanks were plowing into our city in Poland because of the rebellion rising all over the country. We hovered around the BBC radio to try to hear what was really taking place in our country and to try to find out if we were really in danger.
But, deep in our hearts, we had made the commitment to be there because we believed with all of our heart that we were living for a Kingdom that could not be shaken and we were determined to bring light to a dark world where Christianity was suppressed.
To us, God was almighty, Holy, beyond our comprehension, and so we trusted Him to do miracles, and He did. We also knew He was one who heard our prayers and was willing, for the sake of those who believed, to do miracles and to bring powerful redemption to a whole nation and to the world behind the iron curtain.
Our faith was exhibited behind closed doors where our hearts were tested and no one could see.
Sometimes, I miss the fellowship of such believers. We knew that God could not be contained in a box--but that He was much bigger and more powerful than we could ever imagine. We took risks in order to bring this Hope to a world that desperately needed light and and hope.
Now, as I am approaching 60, I do not want to be satisfied with what I have seen God do previously in my life. I want a new frontier, a new way and place to cast a vision in the lives of others so that they might understand the infinite ways of His love, wisdom and goodness.
I often feel as though we do God an injustice by playing at words and grappling after finite issues, by pettiness and criticism of others, when the lives and eternal destiny of people are at stake.
How can our children be inspired to live great lives if our lives are not burning with a passion to serve Him and to see His power lived out through our lives?
Perhaps we are indeed guilty at times of straightening the picture on a wall of a house that is burning down, when we focus on temporary issues.
And so, as I reevaluate my life and my goals, I pray:
Let my faith not be limited to mere words on the internet, but let my life be a sacrifice to real people who need to know the loving touch of your hands, the power of life-giving words, the healing of forgiveness and acceptance that you have so generously provided.
Let my messages be filled not with rules and lists and formulas, but with truth, vision and foundational instruction. In the power of your Holy Spirit, God, give me renewed faith, boldness, compassion, so that I may expect to see your power through my life in new ways. In the next 10 years, what would you imagine for me to accomplish for your kingdom? What would you have Clay and me venture to help others understand your power.
Please, Lord, let our faith never diminish to a point of limiting you to a mere philosophy or dogma. Help us always to see you as the Lion of Judah, the God transcendant, the one who crafted the galaxies and put in place the eyelashes on a baby's face.
And let my children, understand these truths and live their story, faithfully, boldly to give profoundly of your love and life till they see you face to face.
As we ponder your omnipotence, that you are greater than we could imagine,
that your ways and thoughts are higher than ours and that you can do whatever you choose,
let that picture of you inspire us to bow our knee to your will and be willing to risk and work with all of our heart to please you until we see you face to face in all of your beautiful wildness, glory and splendor.