Point of Inspiration: Devotionals for Personal and Corporate Worship
Robert D. Pace
The Lion’s Roar
A lion’s roar can be heard up to five miles away, and its reverberation literally shakes the ground. Those who have stood close to a lion when it roared have absorbed its shock to the core of their being. It is fearsome, yet majestic, and it is no wonder that the Bible presents Christ as the “Lion of Judah.” A lion symbolizes royalty and strength, and that imagery perfectly characterizes our Lord.
The Bible shows that every person will one day face this fierce Lion. That should strike fear within those who are unprepared to meet Him, because His sentence will be inescapable. Yet those whose hearts are prepared can take comfort, because this Lion is the One who will have directed their path to heaven.
In November of 2006, I had a vision. It unfolded as I contemplated the Lord’s power to unshackle a Christian’s heart from its burdens. During that brief moment in God’s presence, I envisioned what might transpire as Christians pass from this life toward eternity. While there is no specific verse of Scripture for this vision, I am confident it does not violate Biblical integrity. Here is my stream of consciousness:
Life on earth takes many twists, both expected and unexpected. We experience fortune and misfortune, success and failure. We delight in repose and endure our afflictions. We befriend and are enriched, and we befriend and are betrayed. We make choices that bring joy, while other choices bring grievous sorrows. Everything that we experience in life, from beginning to end, is stuffed into the repository of the heart.
Through the years of living, it is only natural for our heart to grow larger. It carries new burdens and bears more pain. But while it grows yet heavier, we rarely weigh the load of our heart. Isn’t this what you have experienced? You live with a weighty heart because you have grown accustomed to it. It seems “normal” to live this way. There are times when Christians talk about “unloading” and “getting things off our chest,” but even then, some burdens never move. Solomon said the heart is large enough to contain eternity so why not let the weight of the world rest on it (Eccl. 13:11)? It is truly remarkable when a Christian can actually “cast their cares on the Lord.”
Those were my thoughts in November of 2006, when I envisioned facing Christ, the Lion, and hearing His roar. Now, I invite you to imagine the continuum of my thoughts that day. Imagine that you died and began traveling through that corridor between earth and heaven. Suddenly, every event of your life flashes through your mind—the joys, victories, and pleasures; the sorrows, injustices, and pain—you see everything. Then, without power to retreat, you are propelled directly into the face of the insuperable Lord, “the Lion of the tribe of Judah.” And with His hot breath saturating your face He speaks, but not with words. With unexpected fury, He roars, and though you’re inches away you know the farthest regions of Heaven heard it. But it was not without purpose; something miraculous happened. The furious roar of that Lion rattles the chambers of your heart and dispels every weight and burden. They are instantly vanquished and you are liberated!
Could it happen this way? Is this our future? Perhaps. But for now we are forced to live in the present. And while waiting for that day of deliverance, my heart cries out, “Roar Great Lion, roar! Stand before me as my Liberator and thunder with your emancipating roar.”