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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Trust Issues Part 3: Lessons from Strays

It's been a stressful couple of weeks at work, and I've found that exercise is definitely valuable as a stress relief. On my usual jog route yesterday, I happened upon two little dogs. They were obviously a pair, likely even sisters from the looks of them. One was quick to come up to me and let me pet her. The other barked a little and kept her distance but was very curious. I looked around for owners, but none were in sight.

They were hot and thirsty, as was I. I decided that, if they followed me all the way home, I'd try to call the numbers on their tags. I didn't have my phone with me or leashes, so it was up to them.

And follow me they did, all they way back to my house and right through the front door like they had every right. It was a long walk for such little legs! I called the numbers on their tags thinking, "This'll be a quick fix. I can call their owner and run them right back over to their house somewhere in my neighborhood."

Is life ever really that simple? I know, I'm a naive sap. The only number that worked was the vet, which was closed. So my two-dog home quickly became a four-dog B&B. Great.

They are sweet dogs and all has gone well thus far. Unfortunately, their presence means that I will be late to work trying to reunite them with their owner, lose valuable time for the stressful workload I have, and likely encounter more headaches at the end of the day because of the chain reaction that was my innocent jog and act of kindness.

Then, God decided to to teach me a few lessons through my house guests this morning by asking me a couple of questions.

1. How do I follow Him?

My Bible study this morning spoke to the reason Jesus was able to obey God in everything, even a death on a cross. It was through His small obediences all along the way, which were all powered by the Holy Spirit. He lived a Spirit-led life 24/7. It was because He lived that way that He didn't hesitate to follow God's path for His life; He just lived it.

The same Spirit that brought about complete obedience in Christ is alive in me and available to lead me every second. I  follow Him knowing He'll provide a safe haven for me and cool water to drink, just like those little dogs followed me home. But also like the dogs, I get distracted by my surroundings. I stop to sniff at every mailbox or tree, take a few little sidesteps to check out open garages, and stop along the way to "take care of business." I stay aware of Him, but often lag behind to indulge my own desires. I need Him to whistle and get me back on track.

At times, I even shy away from His touch. I trust Him enough to let Him show me the way home, but trusting Him enough to touch me and become a friend is a different thing altogether. The little dog that didn't hesitate at my touch was quick to follow and stayed more focused on the journey home. She has had less anxiety than the other dog and was the first to lay down and relax when we got home. Hmmmmm. Yep, I can learn a lot from a stray.

2. Am I thankful for His provision and actively enjoying it?

When I dished out the dog food this morning, my two dogs jump right into their bowls and were happy to do so. Our guests, on the other hand, sniffed the food and looked at me like entitled little brats. One even stood on her hind legs to check the dining room table for the "good stuff." Really? Do you know how lucky you are little homeless ones?

But let's be honest, Kerri. Who are you to judge? Don't you do the same thing?

Okay, so I am a spoiled little brat sometimes, too. I live in abundance but complain about being another broke girl in the city. This life and every bit of it is a gift. Instead of looking around for something better, I could eagerly accept all that is laid before me and be filled and satisfied.

While little miss fancy pants stray over there sat with her tummy growling looking for crumbs elsewhere, her sister finally decided to dig in and enjoy herself. She now has a full belly and is back to relaxing and lying down in comfort. Oh, what I must learn from these little ones!

How about you? Do you trust God enough to follow from a distance, or are you walking in step with Him, close enough to touch? Are you focused on Him as He leads the way, or are you distracted by the things along the way?

Are you living satisfied and resting in His provision, or waiting for the next big thing? The next better thing? The thing you think you're supposed to have?

Yep. I still have a lot to learn about trust. Thankfully, I have a patient and purposeful Teacher who will use the interruption of a couple of strays to make point.

Faithfully, fluffully His,

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