Articles by Stan Dean

Tough Choices

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Did you hear about the incident that happened at Longleat Park recently? In case you do not know, this is a drive-through safari in Wiltshire, England. A mother and her two children were visiting there and enjoying watching the animals when their vehicle happened to overheat and caught fire. It seemed that was bad enough, but to complicate matters even more- - it happened while they were in the middle of the lion enclosure which contained 12 of the dangerous creatures!

So now what were they to do? Stay in a burning vehicle or get out and risk becoming the lion’s next meal? Talk about “being caught between a rock and a hard place” situation! What do you think you would have done? (If it had been me, I probably would have died of a heart attack before the lions or fire ever reached me!)

Thankfully, in this case, there were some vigilant park rangers nearby. The family was reached quickly and one ranger moved them to the safety of his vehicle, while another ranger distracted the lions with a second vehicle.

Hopefully you and I will never be faced with such a challenging scenario. However, I am quite certain that we will be faced with other tough choices in our lives. And while not exactly the same, we might still feel like we have to choose between fire and lions.

As we read through the Bible we see that God’s people have never been exempt from having to face tough choices. Ironically, in the Book of Daniel, we learn that some Godly men had to make choices that, again, involved fire and lions. Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego had to choose between bowing down to idols or being thrown in a fiery furnace (Chapter 3). Later, Daniel had to choose between petitioning only the king (instead of praying to God) or being thrown into a lion’s den (Chapter 6).

By making the choice to be loyal to the Lord, regardless of the consequences, all four were rescued by an ever vigilant Heavenly Father (cf. Hebrews 13:5, 6). And this is how we must make our choices, too. We put our hand in the hand of the One who can deliver us from anything! (Psalm 46:1). It may not be miraculous like in the days of Daniel, but in time it will be certain!


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