I almost didn’t read In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day because based on some reviews I thought it was going to be an overblown prayer-of-Jabez-y gimmick book. However, when Crystal recommended it so highly I decided to give it a go and I’m glad I did.
The premise is a little bit of a gimmick (but it makes for a catchy title, no?) based on a short biblical reference to one of David’s mighty men, but the rest of the book draws on plenty of other Scripture references and is soundly thought out, well-written, humorous without being flippant, and inspiring.
I wound up getting a lot out of the book–six single-spaced typed pages of notes, to be exact–on a range of topics. I found food for thought about how faith helps us to see and seize opportunities, the role of prayer in opening our eyes to opportunities God puts in front of us, how steeping ourselves in Scripture helps us to put on the mind of Christ from a neurological standpoint, and reminders that early Christians were known for what they did do as much or more than what they did not do.
What the book does NOT do is help you to figure out exactly what it is that God is calling you to take a risk and step out in faith to do. My problem is not so much reluctance to take a risk or seize an opportunity, but rather the paralysis that comes from seeing such a huge range of opportunities and not knowing which one to seize when. I’m still thinking through how the book’s encouragement to deeper prayer could help with that, and since reading this book I’ve been specifically praying that God would give me clarity on what opportunities I should focus on.
Surprisingly, what’s been coming out of my reading this book and attempting to think it through and put it into practice is reminder after reminder that risks and opportunities are not always big. In the book, Batterson points out that God is not four-dimensional–nothing is too big OR too small. For example, when I’m awakened at 5am by a certain very chatty and high energy five-year-old who wants to discuss the pros and cons of each and every breakfast option and ask me eleventy-hundred times if she can wear her flowered swimsuit when all I want to do is literally bathe in the liquid sleep replacement otherwise known as coffee, I have the opportunity to enjoy her and show her love, rather than impatience and tiredness.
Whether you’re in need of a serious plan to tackle a big, risky leap or to be faithful in small, daily opportunities, I think you’d get something out of In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day and I’d recommend it. It’s easy to read and entertaining, but also thought-provoking and encouraging. You probably won’t agree with the author on every point (I didn’t), and may find the framing of the book overplayed, but it’s worth pushing through to the gist of the material because Batterson has some excellent points and the book is really good overall.
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