New York City’s library lions, “Patience” and “Fortitude”
Photo by Dave and Margie Hill on flickr cc by-sa 2.0

For over a century, two marble lions have guarded the main branch of the New York Public Library at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street in Manhattan. These majestic stone creatures flank the entrance to the building, keeping careful watch over all who enter.

During the 1930s the library lions were officially named “Patience” and “Fortitude” by then-mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. He felt that those names embodied the qualities that New Yorkers would need to survive the Great Depression of that era.

If ever there was a time when New Yorkers (and indeed all of us) again need patience and fortitude, it’s during the COVID-19 crisis. New York has been struck particularly hard by this pandemic, but they are pulling through in large part thanks to the selfless health care workers who have done their utmost to guard the health and welfare of those under their care.

We still need guardians, don’t we? Particularly during times like these.

What “lions” guard your door?

Scripture says that God guards and protects those who trust in Him.

“He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him.” (Proverbs 2:8)

“God guards you from every evil, he guards your very life. He guards you when you leave and when you return, he guards you now, he guards you always.” (Psalm 121:7-8 Message)

God can not only guard believers physically, He also promises to guard us emotionally and mentally. Who couldn’t use some peace of mind during this time of crisis?

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

The key which unlocks this peace is a relationship with Jesus. Through Jesus, we can have a sense of security and well-being despite the whirlwind raging outside.

The lion: king of the beasts
Photo by Alexas_Fotos on Pixabay

Jesus is eminently qualified to be our protector and peace-giver. In 1 Peter 2:25 He is described as “the Guardian of your souls.” Through belief in Him, we are granted the awesome privilege of spending eternal life in His presence.

Jesus is also known in Scripture as the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” (Revelation 5:5). Here on earth, lions are known to be powerful creatures and are called “king of the beasts.” Jesus is powerful above every name and is known as the “King of kings.”

Jesus is not only majestic and worthy of our praise, He is also fierce in His love for you. He proved it by dying on the cross for your sins and mine. If there is anyone who can be trusted to guard us, it’s our Saviour.

The library lions Patience and Fortitude are beautiful and stately, but are hewn from mute and unfeeling pieces of stone.

How would you like a living Lion guarding your door? Trust in Jesus!

© 2020 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.

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