As I forced myself to breathe in between incredibly heavy sighs riddled in disbelief I knew I needed to focus on the road. You’ll be there shortly. Say nothing and just focus on driving. Oh God! I’m trying so hard to fight back these tears. This anger. I can feel the words working their way out. I know if I say anything. One. Single. word. Anything at all. I will regret probably every word spoken out of my mouth on this day. Please help me to bridle this tongue, LORD. Please.
We make it to the vet safe and sound and three of us go in. My hubby, the puppy and me. I am emotionally a mess. I say nothing during the entire appointment. I think to myself I really should have stayed in the car. I look at the puppy. I feel myself growing cold and detached from him. I am feeling so many emotions and I tell myself I never want to be in this state again. So, please puppy. stop. licking. me. I don’t want to play with you.
I get through the day without breathing a word to my hubby. Not a single word except maybe yes or no. The good thing is he worked on the yard most of the afternoon after we returned from the vet. We go to bed and I do say good night and kiss him. That’s Scriptural, right?
I toss and turn all night. It’s now 3:30 in the morning and I can’t take it anymore. I am wide awake. As I reach to turn on the light so I can read I hear something like I can’t sleep with the light on. Mind you, I’m still not speaking to my hubby and I am exhausted and my mind is still swirling with all the hurtful straight to the heart words I can utter so I say nothing. I shut off the light and exit the room quietly I might add. Although I really wanted to slam the bedroom door shut and then say something like Oops! The wind must’ve gotten hold of it. But I don’t.
I’m now sitting and crying. I begin to talk to the LORD. I know this is crazy. I know he is just a dog. But I have grown to depend on him. I don’t really need to tell YOU that, do I? Now, I am really balling. I begin to think about Rambo. My dog. Actually, he is not even my dog. He is my husband’s dog. We got him about five years ago from a trainer who specializes in training shepherds for the police and special needs. He came from a great breed and we were blessed to get him. I named him Rambo. Rambo is a very, very smart dog and very perceptive. At least I think so. A Belgian shepherd. Whenever someone comes on or near the property Rambo barks in the direction of the perpetrator. His tail curls up and out and I know he is on alert. He typically comes to my window in the bedroom and barks to get my attention and then runs back to the spot where there is perceived danger. I normally yell “Good Job Rambo!” or some positive words of affirmation. Sometimes I have to tell him that it’s okay so he will stop barking. For instance, if the neighbor is having tree work done and I know the person is going to be there for quite some time. Most times it works. When my son stayed with us for awhile while recovering from hip surgery Rambo slept by his window every single night. I truly believe Rambo understood he needed to be protected more than I did so he made that shift.
Needless to say, Rambo provides a great sense of security for me. I never realized how much until he ran away. Yes, that is why I was so upset. My Rambo ran away. Well, actually he was led astray by the neighbor’s dog who will we will leave unnamed. She is a wanderer but Rambo loves her. Her family allows her to roam and trust me she does.
So, after pouring my heart out I finally make it back to bed. It’s now about 5:30 a.m. I am exhausted and pass out.
What’s all that racket? What time is it? I glance over at the clock and it’s 8:30ish. I look around and notice my hubby is out of bed. I glance over at the bedroom door to see him standing in the door way. I hear him vaguely say something like she is going to be happy to see you. In my mind, I’m thinking it’s the puppy he must be talking to. And I am NOT in the mood to play with him so I lay there perfectly still, thinking if I don’t move maybe the puppy won’t make a mad dash over to me. As I lay there, Rambo runs to me. He is a mess. But I don’t even care. I literally jump out of bed and fall to the floor and wrap my arms around him and begin to cry out Thank YOU Lord! Thank YOU Jesus! For bringing Rambo home to me. I then begin to ask Rambo if he is okay. Crazy, huh? Yes, I am having a full fledged conversation with a dog and he is just laying down for me wanting me to rub his belly. As I inventory him I see he has twine of some sort wrapped around his tail as if he got caught in it and somehow broke loose. I notice a gouge on his front paw and a scratch on his nose, too. Poor baby. I ask him, “What happened to you?” And he has a sadness about him. In fact, for a couple days all he did was mope around.
At this point my hubby says something like I didn’t want to tell you this but when I took the puppy out last night the neighbors dog was sitting outside. She must have left Rambo and came home without him. I thought O Lord Thank YOU! For Rambo has never been anywhere but the front and back yard. Oh yeah, I forgot. And across the street when we got new neighbors. A bunch of cows.
So my story has a happy ending. Whew!
I thought about all the damage I could have done if I had of even uttered one word during the “incident”. I thought about how very HARD it was to keep quiet. I am not kidding. I thought about how in the scheme of things we all mess up and beating the heck out of someone doesn’t make it go away or even better. I thought about how if I didn’t know Christ —— whew! Never mind! Never mind ! Never mind!
I thought to share this with you, too. This is me. Going through the day to day. This is a day where I battled all afternoon and evening to be like Jesus. And boy was it a battle.
In closing, I pray as the completely unexpected things come up in your day to day that threaten to take you over the edge that you remember to hold your tongue. You may have to do it literally.
Be Strengthened and Encouraged in HIM,
Even so the tongue is a little member, and it can boast of great things. See how much wood or how great a forest a tiny spark can set ablaze! James 3:5
Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit - you choose. Proverbs 18:21
As I gaze out the window, to observe the pouring rain, I happen to notice that the door to the shed out in the backyard is open. It’s the shed where we keep the lawnmower and other seasonal items so they will be protected from the elements. You got it. Specifically the rain.
So, I run to tell my hubby that the door is open and he immediately goes outside to close it so the water will not get inside and do any damage.
On his way out the door he grabs for my beach towel and places it over his head. Like most beach towels it’s rather large. So the towel not only covers his head but is draped across most of his upper extremities. I watch him close the shed door through the window and when he comes back inside he has a story. It seems as though our dog, Rambo, almost bit him. As he is talking I am thinking, “Rambo? Not Rambo”. As I’m still wondering why Rambo would even think to bite his master that he adores, my hubby goes on to say that he suspects Rambo didn’t recognize him. Rambo approached him as if he were going to bite his calf and at that moment hubby began to call out, “Rambo! It’s me.” Rambo immediately stopped and went into play mode with his tail wagging and looking for a toy so they could play. Mind you, it’s still pouring out.
A study written up in the journal Animal Behavior described how dogs had difficulty recognizing their human “best friend” when the person had their face covered, according to a BBC News story on the research. Paolo Mongillo led the study at the University of Padua in Italy.
I found this article quite interesting especially since I believed a dog would always know their human “best friend” by scent, no matter the conditions. I never imagined we might be unrecognizable to them.
Don’t ask me how I made the shift but somehow I did. Only God! I started to laugh because I began thinking I am glad at no point in our lives are we ever unrecognizable to God! Whether soaked in sin. Drowning in sorrow. Masked in guilt. Covered in shame.
And then a melody starts ringing in my head. The melody is to a song from my early child hood. Unbeknownst to me the song has been etched in my memory and now brought up when I least expected it. I smile as I think about the words. They sum up this message oh so well.
Nowhere to run to baby. Nowhere to hide. Got nowhere to run to bay bay. No where to hide.
Be Strengthened and Encouraged in HIM,
And not a creature exists that is concealed from HIS sight but all things are open and exposed, naked and defenseless to the eyes of HIM with WHOM we have to do. Hebrews 4:13 AMPC
Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it - no matter what. Hebrews 4:13 MSG
Recently, I was cleaning the guest bedroom and noticed the desk plaque which had been on the night stand had fallen on the guest room floor. I picked it up and noticed the broken pieces. Since I was in the midst of stripping beds, dusting, washing sheets and towels, vacuuming and basically you get the picture, I didn’t really pay attention to the damage. I took the desk plaque along with the broken pieces and placed them in my office desk drawer and made a mental note to deal with it later.
So it’s now later.
I take the desk plaque with the pieces out of my office desk drawer and start to laugh. The Scripture from Proverbs 3:5 is written on the bottom of the plaque and the top now says “rust”. The “T” has been broken off. Trust is now broken. Trust broken is now rust.
I looked up the word rust and began to ponder on the meaning and at that point the Holy Spirit began to whisper as only HE can do.
When the trust in the relationship starts to breakdown the relationship begins to rust. We allow a rough coat to form on the surface, and if it goes unchecked, it may lead to corrosion or deterioration.
To me, incredibly powerful. Oh, how I can relate! Trust to rust. One small break can lead to something so much bigger. Broken Trust.
And guess what? I decided to keep the desk plaque and leave it just as is. I now have a new conversation piece that suits my office to a T.
Be Strengthened and Encouraged in HIM,
Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.
1 Corinthians 4:2 NIV
In the Book of Genesis, Chapter 46, Jacob is leaving the place that he had called home. The place where he had gain. The place where he knew God had sent him. No doubt about it.
He now is being asked to go to Egypt. This is where he will see his son that he believed was dead. There he will be reunited with Joseph.
So, on his journey to Egypt, he stops by a place. A familiar place. There he would offer up sacrifices to the LORD.
Ever wonder why Jacob made this pit stop? To build an altar and offer sacrifices? Could it be that there is some uncertainty within Jacob? Could it be that he is unsure of this leg of his destiny? Whether God will continue to be with him? Could be Jacob needs a word? After all it was at the altar where Jacob was accustom to receiving a word from the LORD in the past. A Word of purpose. A word of direction. A word to fuel his faith.
And, yes, it was at this place that God spoke to Jacob as HE had in times past. This time God reminded Jacob of Who HE is. God also told Jacob to not be afraid to go. God said, “I will go down with you…and I will bring you up again”.
To me, This Word from God, in this place, was the confident assurance Jacob needed to know and to continue on his journey.
Let us ponder this Word in prayer.
As we journey throughout the 2019 year, let us be encouraged by YOUR WORD.
Let us be encouraged by YOU. Let us not be afraid of what lies ahead of us for YOU have declared that YOU are the I AM. The I AM Who is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. The I AM who goes with us as we move forward into unchartered territories. Unknown certainty. Assured destiny. As you reminded Jacob, and many others, remind us to not be afraid and to continue step out in faith in 2019. Most importantly, when we need comfort, when we need a Word, let us continually remember to do as Jacob did - go to the Secret Place. There, let us rest, seek, and worship YOU. And when we get up let us know that we are going to be okay. No questions asked. No doubt. For YOU are the same yesterday, today and forever. We thank YOU and praise YOU for yet another year.
In Jesus Name, Amen.
Happy New Year 2019!
Be Strengthened and Encouraged in HIM,
So Israel set out on the journey with everything he owned. He arrived at Beersheba and worshipped, offering sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. God spoke to Israel in a vision that night: “Jacob! Jacob!” “Yes?” He said. “I’m listening.” God said, I AM the God of your father. Don’t be afraid of going down to Egypt; I’ll also bring you back here. And when you die, Joseph will be with you; with his own hand he’ll close your eyes.” Genesis 46:1-4 MSG