Jesus Is The Lion

LIONSeveral months ago I started reading through The Chronicles of Narnia with my two oldest daughters (now 5 ½ and 4 years old). We began with The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, and they were instantly captivated by the story of the magical land through the armoire, the eternal winter, the Witch with the Turkish delight, the talking animals, the battles, the rescues, Father Christmas, and of course, Aslan.

Aslan made everything OK. Aslan made dead things come alive. Aslan made it into Spring again. Aslan died and came to life. Whenever Aslan appeared in the story, my girls squeeled with excitement.

We finished that book and moved onto The Horse and His Boy (even though, apparently, we should have gone to Prince Caspian next). We were in for a different kind of experience.

This story was… much less captivating, particularly for little listening ears. We slogged through chapter after chapter about a boy named Shasta and a girl named Aravis, and their Narnian talking horses, and how they got chased by Lions, how Shasta had to sleep outside the tombs (and met a mysterious cat), how Shasta and Aravis got chased by another Lion, eventually meeting a guy named King Lune, and it was just plain hard to keep my little girls interested.

WHERE IS ASLAN?” they kept asking. I didn’t know. I was ready to put the book down and pull out some Dr. Seuss.

A substantial 165 pages into the book, I was feeling very sorry for myself reading this tortuous book, and the main character (Shasta) was feeling very sorry for himself as well. He finds himself riding a non-Narnian-talking horse, alone in the woods, and terrifyingly, he can tell a big animal is trailing him, and he can’t take it anymore and throws a pity party.

The mysterious animal tells Shasta that he doesn’t feel sorry for him. Shasta is flabbergasted. He recounts his sad upbringing, his daring escapes, his night alone outside the tombs, his hunger, and just how unfortunate he’s been, especially considering all of the random lion chases. The Voice speaks up and says:

I was the Lion”.

Shasta gasps.

I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you could reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you.”

In that moment, the “unfortunate” events all of the sudden make sense to Shasta.

And in that moment, the previous 11 chapters all of the sudden made sense to my daughters and me. It had been Aslan all along.

Shasta asks: “Who are you?”

“‘Myself,’ said the Voice, very deep and low so that the earth shook and again, ‘Myself,’ loud and clear and gay; and then the third time, ‘Myself,’ whispered so softly you could hardly hear it, and yet it seemed to come from all round you as if the leaves rustled with it.”

It was Aslan.

My daughters squealed with delight. And I sobbed.

Because like Shasta (and I imagine like you), I’m pretty good at throwing pity parties. I can recount a litany of unfortunate events that I didn’t deserve, that I didn’t enjoy, and that I didn’t think God should have let happen. In my life (and in my worship leading journey), I’ve felt chased and abandoned so many times that I’ve got a pretty good library of sob stories I can pull out when needed.

One of my favorite sob stories is from when I was a young worship leader (14 years old) at a small Episcopal Church in the Florida panhandle that had never sung a contemporary song on a Sunday morning in its life. After a few months of being subjected to my guitar-led, drum-accompanied, mid-1990’s praise music, it had gotten so bad that half the congregation would stand and sing along, but half the congregation would stay seated, arms folded, faces angry, and lips sealed.

Where was Jesus when I was up there all alone? Why was I going through this? Why did it have to be so hard? Why were so many things so hard?

Jesus was right there with me, by my side.

Jesus had a purpose and a reason for me to go through that.

And Jesus used it for my good and for his glory.

Jesus is the Lion.

And when we hear those words – and know that they’re true – a lot of the “unfortunate” events in our stories begin to make sense. Chapters that we slogged through are now re-interpreted. And we begin to see how Jesus was not only with us when we felt alone, but was actively and Sovereignly in control.

Jesus makes and will (someday soon) make everything OK. Jesus makes dead things come alive. Jesus turns Winter into Spring again. Jesus died and came to life.

And whenever Jesus appears in the story, we should squeal with excitement. He’s not safe – but he’s good – and we can trust our lives, our ministries, and our stories to Him.

5 thoughts on “Jesus Is The Lion

  1. Michele Morin April 27, 2015 / 3:02 pm

    I ALWAYS get goosebumps when I read those words from Aslan. Hey, once you’ve made it through the series with your girls, you should check out Focus on the Family’s radio dramas. While nothing beats having them read out loud by a parent, these dramatizations run a close second. Amazing voices and sound effects, good quality work. All four of my boys have loved them for car trips, etc.

  2. Mandy April 27, 2015 / 8:59 pm

    I love the Horse and His Boy! It was always my favourite as a kid and my two boys (5 and 7 years) love it too.

    It is pretty awesome when Aslan shows up. But the fact he was there the whole time, directing Shasta’s journey even when Shasta didn’t know of him at all is wonderfully comforting!

  3. Chelsea April 28, 2015 / 11:43 am

    This reminded me of this song I heard recently. 🙂

    • bron May 28, 2016 / 2:53 am

      How wonderful you write. I’ve just stumbled on your site. I am not a worship leader, I don’t know what I am, I hear stuff, I write it down, I feel closer to the king when I pick up my guitar and just sing???? I do know that he wants scripture sung. I do knw that he doesn’t want the old stuff gone and I do know that he loves his name.
      I was just wondering if you have a book on all these blogs.
      Its cold here in NSW AUSTRALIA, and your book would bring such revelation, comfort and insight to any, that maybe hidden for a time.
      May THE KING, CREATOR, bless you sir. May HE extend HIS sceptor towards you and give you and your family increase.
      You write extremely well as I sit here trying to get warm reading off my Mobile phone thinking ‘gee I wish I had his book”. I like to highlight and underline and create doggy ears on the corners….
      I will keep reading as you KEEP GOING, teach, lead, write……
      Double portion for you and your family.

  4. Pamela Graham April 29, 2015 / 9:10 pm

    Best blog post to stumble across ever! It choked me up, the truth of this. Also I’ve been that young leader, standing in front of a well-meaning but totally confounded congregation, trying to bring them the hope and joy I had found through “new” worship music.
    (Here’s a thought: every song was once a new song)
    Many other tough experiences hurt and scared me, but Jesus has used then for good in my life.
    Thank you!

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