Once again, Carl stood frozen in the hallway shaking in fright. He was quiet as he waited. He didn’t dare try to move into the room and pass his sister, who lay quietly on the pillow beside our bed. Not understanding this change in his behavior, I felt I only had one option. So after laying still for several minutes, I did what I believed was best for the terrified pooch. I sauntered out into the hall, picked Carl up and held him close to my heart. After I knew Carl was not going to pull away, I made my way past Bee and laid him down in his bed.
Why was Carl so fearful of his sister? And how could this dog that started off in life with such confidence transform into such a frightened canine?
I can’t help but think how life can alter us into a frightened state if we are not careful? A bad relationship can keep us from pursuing our soul mate. A chronic disease can keep us on edge every time we enter a doctor’s office. A car accident can cause our palms to perspire and our heart rate to increase when we pull onto the highway.
We can be so much like my frightened dog if we don’t keep our focus on our Good Shepherd. In Psalm 23, David wrote,
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters. He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
I can’t help but think about how God makes me lie down, leads me, refreshes my soul, and guides me. And as He coheres me, I know He is comforting me so that I can get through the dark valleys that life presents.
I am not sure how long Carl will struggle with the fear that grips him every night as he contemplates passing our dog Bee. It could end suddenly or last for months or years. But as I get up and place him in my arms, I can only think about the times that I know that my Lord has placed me in His.