Her name’s Gracie. She was all alone in the world, living on the streets, forced to do whatever she could just to survive. That is until rescue came. Now she’s healthy and happy with a home of her own.
The vet says she’s a poodle schnauzer mix called a schnoodle, a lap-sized mixture of cuddle bug, bouncing Tigger and guard dog rolled into one. Still quite young, she was in rough shape when I found her on the side of the country road. Bone thin and covered in fleas, her coat was just one giant mat of hair. The intention to find someone to adopt her was derailed when she stole our hearts, especially mine.
At first, she was my shadow never leaving my side but quickly became at home with us. Though she no longer needs to be joined to me at the hip, she wants to be in our company. Even from across the room, she notices what I do and where I go. If I walk down the hall she follows, if I enter the bedroom she comes too. My husband says that she clearly knows who takes care of her.
That is until she gets distracted. If a bug, or bird, or squirrel, or even deer come within eyesight, she completely loses focus. The desire to gratify her inner nature overrides her need for me and she runs off. As a result, she has been nearly bitten by a poisonous snake and trampled by a protective momma deer. She also misses out on treats that our other dog gets for coming obediently when I call.
As much as I love her, it’s frustrating when Gracie doesn’t heed my voice. As her master, I know what’s ultimately best for her though she doesn’t understand. And that gives me pause.
How much am I like Gracie? How easy it is for my attention to shift away from my Master and onto whatever catches my eye. It may be my desires, my emotions or just the world around that distracts me, but I simply stop listening.I allow the longing to gratify my inner nature to override my reliance on Him.
Am I alone in this, or are you, like me, failing at times to heed or even to hear His voice? If so, there are actions we can take to help us prevent losing our focus on the ultimate One who cares for us.
·Know where help comes from:
Although Gracie survived on her own, she didn’t do it well. So, too, it is with us. Our ever sufficient help comes, not from self, not from those around us, but from the One who created it all. Remain confident of this.
"My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth."- Psalm 121:2
·Recall what His help has done:
Like Gracie, we were once all alone doing our best to just survive the troubles of life that surrounded us. Without a Savior, we would still be facing death instead of eternal life. Think back to just how far He has brought you.
"Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word."- Psalm 119:37
·Trust what His help will do:
Even with what may seem, in the moment, to be less than desirable, trust in Him. And just because something appears good doesn’t mean it is truly good either. Gracie may enjoy the chase but can easily be harmed by her prey or unseen dangers. God promises that we will lack no good thing but He alone knows what that is. He also promises to protect us, but we must heed His voice when warning comes.
"My eyes are always on the Lord, for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies."- Psalm 25:15
Message for the Journey:
Though the world around may be full of temptations and distractions, there is one place where our eyes and our ears should remain fixed. Whether it comes in the form of protection from harm or disbursement of blessings, just like with Gracie, we can rest assured that the best for us is found when we keep our focus on the Master.
"I lift my eyes to you, O God, enthroned in heaven. We keep looking to the Lord our God for his mercy, just as servants keep their eyes on their master, as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal." -Psalm 123: 1-2