“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand…”~ John 10: 27-29
© 2016, Lynn Abbott
Puppies hate leashes. I know that because just over three years ago I brought home a beautiful, Labradoodle puppy. I named him Bentley.
Determined to start things off right, I put a leash on him as soon as I arrived home. My plan was to introduce him to his new outdoor space.
But he balked.
He pulled and scratched.
He bit at the leash.
He tried running from it.
He obviously didn’t know that an unfenced garden near a major rural road posed grave danger for an 8 1/2 week old pup.
After a few weeks, he learned to tolerate the leash. However, on our daily walks, his pulling would periodically emerge.
In fact, he inevitably pulled when I announced that we were going home. With my happy declaration, Bentley suddenly transformed into a horse and hurried to the proverbial barn.
He looked for the shortest distance between two points. It didn’t matter whether that meant plunging through poison ivy, briar patches, neighbor’s yards, or marshy patches.
All too often, I found myself gently reminding my pup to “Follow me.”
At times like these, a leash is a good thing. Actually, I prefer to call the necessary tether by the British term– “lead.”
With the lead, I can direct Bentley and protect him. He may want to go his own way, but as his “master,” I see what he cannot.
Uh, huh. You know where I’m going with this…
How much like Bentley I can be! The Master has promised me, “‘I know the plans I have for you… Plans for welfare and not calamity…'” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Yet, believing I know precisely the most direct route to this glorious destination, I run ahead.
I yank and pull, all the while careening into walls, briar patches and oncoming traffic.
Much to my chagrin, I must admit that I periodically become deaf to the Master’s call, “Follow me.” And so, I spend a lot of time licking my wounds.
God must simply smile. He sees the entire landscape of my life and knows the best path from here to there.
Indeed, while God’s gentle lead allows us tremendous freedom to explore, it will not allow us to wander far off His path.
When we plunge headlong, our heavenly Father gently corrects our course.
In grace, He whispers, “Follow Me.”