This little dreamer girl had a dream from a young age of going to Africa and seeing animals in their natural habitat! I loved going to the zoo as a young child but as I became to understand that animals like lions were really not created for cages, my love of zoos faded and my passion for Africa grew!!
I saved up and in 2005 I did an extensive (cough cough!) search of that wonderful resource – Google, for voluntary conservation work in Africa! I wrote about my compassion for animals yesterday which explains my desire to do volunteer work rather than just go on a safari! Enkosini Eco Experience was the first result. I did look into a few others but Enkosini is who I went with and I was soon boarding an overnight flight to Johannesburg, then onto Hoedspruit to be met by one of the staff from the Makalali Game Reserve where my dream came true!
I have many memories from these three weeks but one that stands out involves the two old males lions on the reserve. I was laying in bed sleeping and around 4am was awakened by the sound of these two magnificent animals. Strangely I felt no fear in this moment! I went to wake everyone so we could go and track them! I was drawn to them with an indescribable passion. I just wanted to get as close as I could. I must admit that as we sat in our open top jeep as one of the lions rubbed up against the side of it – I refrained from reaching out to touch him! I had to sit very still and quiet as instructed!!!
When we look at the lion in Scripture it is tempting to head straight to 1 Peter 5:8: “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (NIV)
My mind turns elsewhere…
“Then one of the elders said to me, ‘Stop crying. Look! The Lion from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has been victorious so that He may open the scroll and its seven seals.'”
The genealogy of Christ in Matthew 1:1-16 traces the lineage of Christ back through the generations and shows how He is descended from the Tribe of Judah (v3). Hebrews 7:14 also confirms Christ’s lineage from Judah: “Now it is evident that our Lord came from Judah”
Looking back at Genesis 49:9 we see the origins of the lion when Jacob blesses his sons and says to Judah: “Judah is a young lion– my son, you return from the kill. He crouches; he lies down like a lion or a lioness–who dares to rouse him?” Genesis 49:9 HCSB.
In Proverbs 30:30 we see the lion described as: “mightiest among beasts and doesn’t retreat before anything”.
The lion has long since been referred to as the King of the Beasts. The LORD God is the “blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords” 1 Timothy 6:15 HCSB
Some other words that I relate to the lion are courageous, brave, proud, mighty, defender, powerful, victorious…that is my Jesus!
When I lay in bed in Africa listening to those lions I felt safe. I felt like I was protected from any other beast that was around. I felt like I had the King on my side and I know I have the King of Kings, the Lion of Judah on my side! Just like I was drawn with passion to be close to those lions in Africa ~ I am drawn to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and I trust in the knowledge that:
- “The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them. The LORD preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.” Psalm 145:18-20 ESV
In those moments where I feel overcome by the world, weak, afraid, and unsure of the future…I can PRAISE my God with THANKFULNESS because:
“He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57 NLT
Disclaimer: Welcome to my “31 Days to Dream” and thank you for joining me on this journey. I don’t hold the road map for October–God does! He is starting the journey by taking me down a path of memories, some of which I had long forgotten. He is showing me how He has made my childhood dreams come true in ways that I could never have imagined. He is giving me FAITH and HOPE for the road ahead. I am excited to see where He leads my dreaming over this month of #Write31Days 🙂 You can find my other 31 Days to Dream posts here!