Friday, May 1, 2009

Obstacles


Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. Psalm 34:5 NIV

My Border collie Evie was abused in her first 18 months, then abandoned at a county kennel. Because of her pure breed, she was fostered for six months by a rescue organization, then advertised on the Internet, and that’s where I found her. Her foster mom, therapist, and trainer for six months was Paula, who described the numerous attempts to lead Evie through the agility course obstacles. Evie did well on weaving, diving through a tunnel, and leaping through a hoop, but balked at the high and narrow walk. She refused the walk at first, then took it each time with increasing confidence and purpose, looking forward to praise and treats with each success.
Paula said, “I gave the command, and she bounded in! I called to her to Walk It, and she trotted up. I sat on the ground and called her into my arms, as my tears spilled onto her coat. Evie ran the rest of the course off-lead, willing and wagging. I don’t know the last time I have been so touched and so proud of a dog.”


We’ve all been in a place where we’re unsure or scared to move, even with encouragement. Fears are not entirely irrational, as they stem from previous experiences and injuries. God leads us through dark tunnels and obstacles, but still we balk. We fear speaking in public, showing strong emotion, being alone, not having enough money, being noticed, not being noticed, wondering if we’re good enough. God keeps leading us into strength and confidence.


Each time Evie came to the obstacle, it got easier. Although the course didn’t change in difficulty, she trusted her trainer to stay with her, and that there would be love and treats afterward. Do you remember the times the Lord brought you through a challenge and you emerged victorious? There was intimacy in God’s arms as He embraced you.


Psalm 34:4-5 NIV says, I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.


May we take a lesson from the furry children of God and find no reason to shrink from God’s adventures and challenges. Let’s move boldly out there, taking the steps God has planned for us.

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