Early this morning, lying in bed, I snuggled and buried my face in the luxurious softness of our golden retriever puppy’s coat. She groaned happily at me, and I groaned back a happy noise to her. She licked my nose. I giggled and her entire body wagged at me with exuberance. Literally filled with joy at what a deep pleasure this new pet of ours is to our family, God brought a moment of awareness to me.
“Lucy,” I whisper. Her ears immediately prick up and she holds still at attention, looking to me expectantly.
“Let’s go,” I whisper, getting up, and she eagerly bounds off the bed and sits in front of me, awaiting my next direction.
Suddenly, my thoughts were clouded as the experience contrasted with the memory of a horse I’d ridden years ago in Montana. “Drifter,” (an apt name) beautiful and strong, grew in stubbornness over the years, and finally became a horse I stopped riding.
Too many arguments for control, resulting in rodeo-class bucking, and then the final battle of wills in the middle of a road in the face of an oncoming logging truck did me in.
I knew that horse would eventually really hurt me.
He seldom obeyed. And when he did, it was frequently after an argument and usually resentfully. And instead of getting better, he was getting worse.
So I couldn’t ride him any longer.
I couldn’t trust him.
I always felt a little bad about Drifter. We only saw him once a year for a few weeks, and not being a horse trainer, but rather just a rider, I couldn’t help him. Dogs I can train. Horses? Never even tried. But I knew enough to know Drifter was becoming serious trouble.
Contrasted with the horses I ride here in Ohio, who respond with a “click,” “kiss,” or gentle pressure from my thigh, Drifter was useless and too much of a risk to continue investing my time in.
Even with spurs.
I find tremendous pleasure in communicating with animals. My goal with this new golden retriever is to have her respond to the gentlest of suggestions from me – and so far she does, and as a result, she’s an absolute delight to spend time with. If I’m raising my voice to get her attention, she’ll ignore my softer commands – and then be a pain to deal with. I thank God for the analogy of how He speaks to us so frequently!
Know where I’m going with this yet?
Joshua, in the Old Testament, was a man who obeyed God. The Lord didn’t need to shout at him to get his attention. Moses was the same way. King David, Abraham, all the greats listed in the Hebrews Hall of fame (Hebrews 11), while they might have had their moments, listened to the soft, still, voice of the Lord and obeyed.
And did amazing things for the faith as a result.
This morning, God blessed me with just a tiny pinprick of how He delights in His relationship with us by letting me in on what a joy our little Lucy is to me. Oh, how He must smile when we are quick learners and do what He asks!
And how much can we then be trusted to do something for Him, when He knows we will be obedient? What will He give us to do for His glory when He knows we wait eagerly for His next instruction!?
Please read Proverbs 10 today – it contrasts righteousness and wickedness… and then think about how you speak and interact with others. Do you have influence in a gentle whisper, or must you shout to be heard?
How have you been responsible for training these people to only be able to hear you at that level?
And think about your relationship with God and how you run your family. Are you creating so much activity in your life, your spouse’s life, and your kids’ lives, that they are running from one place to another and don’t have time, much less have the familiarity of the soft, still, quiet voice of the Lord?
I think one of the enemy’s greatest lies is that we have to be busy to be fulfilled.
The opposite is true.
Dare you today to look at your schedule and create margin.
For your spouse. For your kids.
For your God.
It’s the most important thing you can do.
21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. 22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.