New Seasons – Day 17
Joy is being there for others
Many years ago, there was a slave named Androcles. He ran away from his owner to live in the jungle. There, he came upon a lion. The lion had a big thorn in his paw that was already starting to fester, and Androcles saw that the lion was thin, emaciated and could not walk or hunt. When he saw, in the lion’s eyes, how the animal suffered, he wanted to do everything in his power to help the lion. With great doubt and trepidation, because getting too close could cost him his life, he put out his hand gently towards the lion’s paw. When the lion saw what Androcles was doing, he began licking his hand as if asking the slave to help him. Slowly, Androcles pulled the thorn from the lion’s paw, while the lion constantly licked his hand and sniffed at him. When the thorn came out, the lion retreated, limping into the jungle.
Sometime afterwards, Androcles was captured by the emperor’s soldiers. As punishment for his desertion, the emperor ordered that he be thrown into the arena to be torn apart by lions, in front of hundreds of spectators. Meanwhile, the lion Androcles had helped so long ago was also in a cage, beneath the same arena. The story goes that it was precisely this lion that was let loose on Androcles. When the gate was opened, so that the lion could attack the captured slave, the crowd went mad. They were expecting the lion to tear the man limb from limb. The lion charged towards the man in front of him and then suddenly stopped. He recognised Androcles’ scent as that of the man who had helped him long ago. Instead of attacking Androcles, he licked his hand and rubbed against him. The emperor and the crowd were so stunned that the emperor set Androcles free and allowed him to take the lion with him as a gift.
God made us not just for ourselves. He told us that we would be a blessing to other people, as well as animals. Think a little about whom the Lord has sent your way today, who you might be a blessing to.