When the lion came to kill the flock, the shepherd could have run. He might have believed that he was going to die. This was tragedy for him and his flock. He better just run for cover and away from danger. Instead, he stayed faced the danger and killed the lion. He used this as an opportunity to be stronger.
That is what adversity does. It forces us to stand up if we are to grow up. When we run we become weak. Do we survive? Yes, if you call that living.
A good friend who was one of the last victims of polio before the vaccine was discovered told me that polio was the best thing that ever happened to her. Was she crazy? No! It got her out of an abusive home, gave her great health care and balanced meals. It also taught her to be strong in the face of adversity.
The lions come, especially when we pray for courage, character and strength. Did I expect the lions? I should have learned by now that best way to grow is to face adversity and not run. In facing the lions, I know that I can and I will not be killed. It takes skill, I can prevail. And when I do, I gain those attributes that I have prayed for.