Posted by: glorifyhim1 | February 21, 2011

Walking the Dog

Yesterday my daughter invited me to accompany her as she took a friend’s dog on a walk. It was a beautiful spring-like afternoon so I jumped at the opportunity to spend a little time with my daughter. I had seen this dog previously when she was just a young pup, but even then she dwarfed the dogs at our house. But now, she had grown considerably and I was a little apprehensive when I saw her. “Are you sure you can control her at the park?” I asked my daughter. “Oh, sure,” she confidently replied, “she’s a baby!”

Well, she was right! The rope-like leash and choke collar seemed totally unnecessary as she lumbered along the path, stopping to smell practically every patch of grass and lazily looking at other dogs and people we met. Yet, ever so often, she would turn practically her whole body to check to make sure that we were still there. After receiving a gentle pat on the head, she would turn and continue eagerly along the path. For that moment all was right with her world. I noticed her doing this more frequently when she seemed to be unsure of her surroundings – perhaps a larger group of people or traffic noise from the nearby interstate. But each time after receiving a smile and pat of reassurance, she was content to plod on.

As I thought about this sweet dog later, it occurred to me how much she mirrored what my relationship with God should look like. She didn’t hesitate to go wherever we led her, but went willingly, even eagerly, although she had no idea where we might be going, or what we might be doing. Furthermore, when she became a little nervous or unsure of herself, she didn’t run in circles or try to run the other way, she just checked to make sure we were still there and just kept on going. Only one time did she pull hard against her leash and try to pull my daughter with her. That was when another dog was trying its best to get to her and apparently she thought it might be fun! But even then she responded to my daughter’s firm pull on the leash and patiently watched the other dog disappear with her owner.

I wondered it that was how my relationship with God really looked. Do I always obediently follow God as He leads me wherever He wants me to go? When I am uncertain and my way is not clear, do I keep my eyes on Him and just trust in who I know Him to be? Do I immediately respond when God’s Spirit convicts me of something I shouldn’t be saying or doing? 

In Psalm 23, David stated confidently: “The Lord is my shepherd…He leads me…” He leads us by still streams to quiet us and calm us. He leads us in righteousness and shows us how to live. He leads us through the valleys when we experience sickness, trouble, or any kind of testing or trial. He leads us wherever and through whatever, if we will only look to Him. Just as the sweet dog mentioned above would turn completely around to see if we were there, I need to keep my eyes fastened on God instead of the circumstances I am in. “Unto You I lift up my eyes, O You who dwell in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, until He has mercy on us” (Psalm 123:1-2). Instead of wasting time looking for other redeemers, I need to remember that I have only one. “Then they remembered that God was their rock, and the most high God their Redeemer” (Psalm 78:35). And when I do mess up and start to chase after the wrong things, I should respond quickly when I feel the gentle tug of the Lord’s Spirit trying to get me back on track. “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:21).

In John 10, Jesus compared Himself to a shepherd. He said: “…and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice” (John 10:3-4). If a sweet old dog can trust her keeper to lead her and keep her safe, how much more can we trust the Almighty God, our loving, all-merciful Heavenly Father to lead us? God knows us by name. He leads us. And if we know His voice, shouldn’t we follow?

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Responses

  1. Kathy,
    I could just picture the three of you as I read this–then I began to ask myself some of the same questions that you asked. Thank you so much for sharing your heart!
    Sharon Andrews

  2. Mom,

    I love you and your outlook and our walks 🙂


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