My parents have this cute little dog named Carly. She’s a larger poodle, up there in years, a snuggly little dog. Years ago, when they first brought her home, it was obvious she previously had not been well taken care of. She was fearful and usually pacing and upset. It took years for my mom to calm her down. But, she’s well-adjusted now and we all enjoy her company.
Cute dogs don’t escape hard times any more than we do though. We all adjust the best we can – what other choice do we have. Little Carly’s sight has gone downhill and now she’s blind. It’s obviously not easy for her, but thankfully she knows their house well and seems like a happy dog mostly.
Routine is her friend though, so when visitors come, it’s hard on her. There are people in her favorite places and legs everywhere. She loves to be held, but when she isn’t, she’s constantly bumping into things and jumping when she gets startled. It’s the jumping that really stands out to me and makes me sad. Everything surprises her and she easily becomes frantic and upset.
We were outside this past weekend and it was such a beautiful day that Carly was able to join us for the first time since she lost her sight. She was ecstatic and wanted to investigate! She was on a long leash and in a wide open space, free to roam about. Unfortunately we didn’t see that the rain gutter was just inside that space.
Of course, she runs directly into it, all confused, and is leaping around in panic mode. It was just heart-breaking. But what’s even worse is when we tried to go pick her up and calm her down, she thought she had bumped into something else and made it hard to be consoled. There we are, hoping to comfort her and calm her down and she’s fighting against us, just not realizing it.
Aren’t there so many similarities between us as people, and the actions of that sweet little coping dog? We desperately need God to look after us and protect us, and thankfully He always does! He still picks us up, though we fight against Him and try to squirm out of His grasp. We don’t want to be limited or “controlled”, do we? Yet, we desperately need those limits and that protection. We really don’t see the full picture and all the dangers God is loving enough to keep us from running directly into. Carly wouldn’t last long without that constant supervision and protection, and neither would we without God’s constant help. We have to trust He knows best, because He does of course!!
Quite often, I can’t stand His limits. It’s our painfully independent human nature. We want to be master of our lives, in control, the one with the final say. But, the truth is we are no different than Carly in many ways. We are broken people. Our pasts differ, but often in one way or another, life has left us blind and needing constant care. God keeps tight reins on us because He loves us and wants us to live a good life. He doesn’t hesitate to vary that leash length or bring us inside when it’s raining. He loves us too much to allow us to be victim to our own schemes and whims. No, He tells us, you won’t stand so close to the edge. No, I won’t let you free in the area with the poisonous berries.
So, being well-loved brings tons of wonderful freedoms for us but also requires trusting God. He does know better than we do what is best for us. We like to imagine lives lived our way would be the best ever but in truth it’s roaming naively through a mine field. We would never allow someone we love to do that! God loves us so much that He protects us, even from ourselves.