Stastny’s protective nature can make walking her a bit difficult. So, before we head out the door, I put a leash, prong collar, and muzzle on her. The first two are not met with much resistance, but I usually have to chase Stastny for several minutes in a desperate attempt to get the muzzle over her mouth. Once she’s ready to go, I fill my pockets with treats, take a deep breath, and pray, “God, may we have a good walk today. Please protect us.”
A few weeks ago, when walking up a nearby hill, I noticed a boxer off his leash on the other side of the street. My heart sank momentarily as fear overtook me. I assessed whether it would best to continue to walk in the same direction and risk the boxer running after us. I prayed for the Lord to guide us and He ended up leading us in the opposite direction. I had no idea if the dog was chasing after us; all I could think about was how important it was to maintain my calm, keep walking, and not look back. We walked down the hill and it was then that I reluctantly looked back. The dog was nowhere in sight.
This story reminds me of my walk with God. Often, when I feel comfortable and confident in my walk, there will be some type of obstacle that will cause me to trip or lose focus. Instead of looking ahead, fear has a way of distracting me and making the obstacles in front of me appear larger than they actually are. However, when I keep my focus on God, fear is no longer in sight.
- What is a recent event in which you felt controlled by fear?
- What helps you maintain your focus on God?
- When the going gets tough, I like to think of Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” What verse(s) get you through tough situations?