Obstacle Course

I don't like walking my dogs through our neighborhood because there are so many other dogs.  Tippy usually ignores them, but Mitch is far too protective of me to let another dog challenge him.  He's sweet, loving and gentle, but if he feels his mommy is being threatened, he turns into Mr. Hyde.  Trying to control a 90+ pound dog who is determined to "get at" the threat proves very interesting for me at a little over 120 pounds.  But no matter which direction we go, there are other dogs to deal with, so usually I take the path of least resistance.

As I tried to take that path this morning, there was a very large dog standing in the middle of the road waiting for us.  I don't know if he had escaped from his fence or what, but he was all alone and looked ready to rumble.  I turned Mitch around (with great effort) and determined to try Plan B which was to go past the fence with two aggressive dogs that Mitch really didn't like.  Still, I thought we could get past quickly and be on our way.  When we passed, however, we were greeted by four aggressive dogs instead of two.  It took every ounce of strength I had to keep Mitch going forward.  He so wanted to protect me.

With this added twist, I decided we would take a different route home.  It took some thinking on my part, but I devised a path that should have allowed minimal confrontation.  As we took the main road I had in mind, I looked ahead to see two grown cats playing and wrestling in their yard.  Just yesterday, I had to battle Mitch because he had seen a gray cat that he wanted to "play with."  I knew two cats would be far too great a temptation.  That left only two options:  go WAY our of the way to get around or go back the way we came.  I had a brief, but stern, talk with Mitch, and we hustled our way past the four aggressive dogs.  Mitch did splendidly, and I was relieved to finally be through with the drama.

Do you ever have days where it feels like no matter which way you turn, there's an obstacle?  You're trying to do what you know is best, but you find yourself staring at one dead end after another.  You're trying to serve God, but resistance seems to be your constant companion.  If this sounds all too familiar, take heart.  There is a way out.  Sometimes God will provide a way around the obstacles you're facing.  And sometimes, you may have to go through them just as Mitch and I had to go past the aggressive dogs.  But do not be afraid, for you are never alone.  He will walk with you.  He will strengthen you.  He will guide you.  Trust in Him, and you'll find your way.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to see if I can get my shoulder back in its socket.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. - I Corinthians 10:13

***** Excerpt from 'Paws'itively Divine:  Devotions for Dog Lovers *****