Comment by Harborough churches: However horrific things may seem, there will be relief

Every week, the Harborough churches write for the Harborough Mail. This week, it is the turn of Liz Mills MBE, a member of Market Harborough Congregational Church

By Liz Mills MBE
Thursday, 4th August 2022, 12:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th August 2022, 12:03 pm
Liz Mills MBE is a member of Market Harborough Congregational Church
Liz Mills MBE is a member of Market Harborough Congregational Church

Viewpoint by Liz Mills MBE, a member of Market Harborough Congregational Church

Imagine the challenge of standing in an actual den of lions. I mean real lions. Even more wild than the kind that Tiger King’s Joe Exotic faced: utterly wild.

In the Bible, Daniel was sent to a den of lions for daring to pray to God. The idea of Daniel being surrounded by lions haunts me. Lions strolled around Daniel with soft, thick coats and beautiful sandy shades of fur. However, they also stretched their retractable, hidden claws.

Their mouths were closed by an angel, but their sharp white teeth and strong jaws were seconds away. The image of lions peacefully purring and padding around me for a night is both terrifying and awesome.

But Daniel had confidence in God. He stood his ground and stood in peace.

It’s as if there is an invisible, power, peace and strength in both Daniel and the lions. This is a peace that comes with trust and confidence. He was putting his trust in something that would keep him safe and calm. This is the trust that many people find in faith.

There are situations in our lives when it feels as though we are surrounded by vicious lions.

Perhaps you are attacked for what you believe or how you live. Sometimes we disagree with those around us and cannot understand their point of view. It is as if you have been picked up and put down on another planet, where you have been given a completely different set of rules and information. You may expect someone near you to attack your views, your beliefs.

Many years ago, a colleague told me that I needed to imagine people’s harsh words as something less serious that bounces off me, like a bouncing animal - perhaps a kangaroo or a lively monkey. Perhaps, I could imagine cruel words as bubbles that float past and burst. It was a helpful strategy as I was working in a tough inner city secondary school where troubled teenagers were struggling to find peace and turned to conflict. Now I think of the lions at rest next to Daniel. Daniel and the lions found peace so I can too.

Whatever the future challenges, I know that I will find peace, perhaps not straight away, but in time. I know this because I always returned to peace after the most stressful and life changing events. I know that however horrific things may seem at the time, there will be a moment where there is relief. It’s a bit like when you are in pain with some terrible toothache, but you know that you won’t always be in pain. You know that relief is coming.

This is the relief and peace many people find in God and faith.

Liz Mills MBE is a member of Market Harborough Congregational Church