Friday, May 6, 2011

In a Pit

Several years ago I read Mark Batterson's second book, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day in my church small group. At the time I was very much taken with the author's style, his turns of phrase, his attitude, and the legitimacy of his doctrine. Many who read Batterson's books note that he has a very approachable style and his books rate high on the readability scale. With that background stated, my current small group decided to dive into this book as part of its discussion, allowing me the opportunity to read the book again. I was looking forward to the discussion within the group and to see what new truths I could pull out and what messages I would be convicted by or reminded of once again.

The title of this book is in reference to the man Benaiah who would ultimately become King David's military captain. However, before he got this opportunity he was proving his mettle and building his resumé by purposefully doing battle with a lion who fell into a pit on a snowy day. Of course most people would run from such a battle when assured of a very low probability of survival. Not Benaiah. He dove into that pit, took that chance, and gave God the opportunity to reveal His glory. Such is the message of this book. Lion chasers thrive in the toughest circumstances because they know that impossible odds set the stage for God's biggest miracles. Of course those of us in the majority who would run from such a challenge are robbing God of an opportunity to reveal Himself to us in a situation where success clearly and unequivocably could not be of our own doing.

I found that tackling this book in a different group leads to an altogether different type of discussion. Of course each group is different and the points raised and hashed out can be quite different indeed. I was at first a bit reluctant to read the book again and "waste" time within group on something that I had already been through. However, I was more than pleasantly surprised. Not only was I reminded of what a wonderful piece of writing this was by Batterson, but the group discussion was deep and fresh and uplifting and I very much looked forward to each and every week.