Thursday, October 6, 2011

Squirming Puppies

Proverbs 3:5,6
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."

Not long after my sweet husband and I got married, we went to visit my Aunt Joyce and Uncle Orville who were living in Jacksonville, FL.  It turned out that their neighbor’s Chow had just had puppies.  They were the cutest things, and naturally, they talked us into bringing two of them home with us.  We were living in an apartment without a fenced-in yard, so it became obvious very soon that our puppies needed to be taught obedience.  Especially, the female, whom we affectionately named Katie.  She was quite a little gal, with plenty of spunk and rebellion and her own will.  She refused to cooperate and come to us when we called her, and she would take off on daring adventures that left us exhausted in our quest to bring her safely back home. 

We had heard of a local obedience class for dogs, so we enrolled Katie and her brother, Teddy, and began our weekly classes.  One of the exercises they taught us is still fresh in my mind after all these years.  It involved the issue of trust, and it has taught me valuable spiritual lessons about our view of God in our trials.  We were taught to hold the puppy on its back in the palm of our hands and make it stay in that position until it stopped squirming.  Can you imagine?  As crazy as it sounded, we began to try it at home.  At first, the puppies squirmed and squealed and tried every way possible to wiggle over on to their feet and away from the firmness of our hold on them.  But, try as they would, we wouldn’t give in.  We would force them to stay on their back in our palm until the squirming stopped.  The whole point of the exercise was to prove to the puppy that they were safe.  That we would not drop them or let them go, under any circumstance.  That we were in control, and they had to succumb to our authority.  That their will must be yielded to ours.  Needless to say, they didn't like this exercise...not one, little bit. 

Wow!  Who does that remind you of?  I hate to admit it, but I must say it sounds very much like me.  Deuteronomy 33:27 says, “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms…”  Everlasting arms.  Arms that have always been and always will be.  Arms that have enough power and strength to hold the world in place.  Arms that have picked me up time after time after time and held me close until the fear in me was stilled, and I stopped trembling.  Arms that have carried me across raging tempests and through fiery furnaces and over insurmountable mountains.  Arms that make me feel safe and loved and comforted.  How many times has God had to hold me firm in an uncomfortable, vulnerable position until I stopped squirming?  And when will I learn that the longer I squirm, the more I complain and whine and grumble, the longer He will hold me there?  It is all a matter of trust.  If His everlasting arms are underneath me, and they have never let me go, why can’t I trust Him now? 

I am just like the puppy, sad to say.  But, you know what?  Over time and with a lot of patience and consistence, those puppies finally learned that we were not going to drop them, nor were we going to let them go until we were good and ready.  Trust was built between us.  They knew they would be okay, that they were not in control – we were, and one day the time came that they didn’t squirm anymore…well, at least, not as much or as often!! 

So, I believe there is still hope for me.  The other day, it hit me that I was just a bit more trusting while going through a severe test and trial.  I realized that I had consecrated the battle to my dear Lord a LOT quicker than I used to.  So, maybe I, like Teddy and Katie, am making progress in this issue of trust.  Maybe one day, I won’t squirm at all.

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