Thursday, October 17, 2013

Not a Tame Lion--by Linden Malki

The Lion of Judah is one of the most striking Messianic symbols in the Old Testament .In Revelation 5, he is identified with the Lamb of God. He is a figure of power, not under man's control. C.S. Lewis, in the  Chronicles of Narnia, uses a Lion,  Aslan, as an image of the Messiah. All through the books, Aslan is described as “good ”, but not “safe”--after all, he is “not a tame lion.” One writer on Lewis expands this concept to our understanding of God: “When the realization of the finiteness that makes up humanity hits, the proper response should be one of thankfulness that God cannot be tamed or called at personal bidding. If the characters in The Chronicles of Narnia had been allowed to control Aslan and have him do all the things they thought best at the time, Narnia might be a very different place.”*

When we are tempted to judge God, we need to remember that He is much more complex than we can imagine. He has placed us in a world that Lewis describes as ““Enemy-occupied territory”-that's what this world is.” ** Life on this earth is not perfect; we don't necessarily get what we want, even though there are promises that prayer will be heard. However, we are not at the planning level. We cannot know the long-term implications of what we want, but He does.

Prayer is not an easy concept. Our prayers may conflict with those of others; they may conflict with His nature, they may conflict with His ultimate plans. He has given us the challenge of facing the reality of Evil. Because we live in territory occupied by the Enemy, we cannot expect everyone else to have our best interests at heart. We live in a place that has its own rules, which we can learn to use but do not control. We are all responsible for each other, and we often fail or others fail us. There will come a point when we will all be faced with the responsibility for how our lives have affected each other. Meanwhile, He has created us with challenges beyond our human strength, both for good and for evil. The ability to use our potentials properly is available, but we have to ask and be willing to accept His sovereignty. He is not tame and under our control; He is not safe—we will be challenged to our limits; but He is Good—in a wider sense than we can understand on this Earth.
*Raven Richardson, Temple University Colloquium on C.S. Lewis, 2004
**C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

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