Yet another Gospel according to Lucy Post.
It all started on Memorial Day. Lucy and I were out for an evening walk, just as dusk began to fall. We set out down the street, eager to investigate all the interesting smells. A sure, tell-tale sign that Lucy is happy, excited, and generally ready to face the world is the curl of her tail. As a puppy, she did not receive the typical Jack Russell tail bob. She is intact. As a result, she gets the privilege of being extra expressive with her posterior appendage. (Sshhhh! We won’t tell her that the Jack Russell community at large would turn their noses up at such a sight. Along with Reepicheep, she is perfectly content with the length of her tail.) At the moment, her tail was curled in a complete circle. She was ready!
Then it happened! All around the neighborhood, the fireworks began. These weren’t your average party poppers or fire crackers. These were large-shell mortar rounds exploding directly overhead! The first one fired and Lucy stood at attention, then looking at me as if to ask, “What was THAT!?” Before I could respond with, “It’s OK. It’s just fireworks,” the next round went sailing overhead with a double boom! That was it! Odors-a-plenty be darned! The tail went straight and even curled the opposite direction, down and between her legs and she was off, dragging me back home! Now I know first hand what it means to “turn tail and run.” She couldn’t get away from there fast enough.
Once we reached the safety of the house and she was released from her harness, Lucy ran for the safety of her perch on the back of our family room love seat. Ah, safety! Those loud noises persisted through the evening, but they were outside and not so frightening. (Not so for our 10 year Welsh corgi, but that’s a different story!)
The next morning, we got up and went through the normal routine. When it came time for our walk, Lucy approached the front door with apprehension. “Are those noises still out there?” After a few minutes of timid walking, Lucy’s overt olfaction overcame her trepidation of things that go “boom” in the night. Several days passed and things were back to normal. We were turning the corner of our street and heading for the walking trail when it happened. Across the trail, carpenters were taking advantage of the morning temperature putting the rafters and roof on a new home being built in the neighborhood. The sound of hammers on nails, and pneumatic nailers was all it took. While not as loud as the fireworks, apparently they are just as scary to our young Jack Russell’s ears. Tail down, running for home. Forget about the business that needs done!
Fast forward to the last couple days. The construction workers are still working on the home. The nailers are still shooting nails into wood. However, over the last several days, I did not allow Lucy to turn-tail and run home. While she tried, I coaxed her back. I won’t go through the details of the long process, but today as we arrived at the trail, the nailers started up again. There was a slight bit of apprehension, Lucy turned and looked up at me waiting for my reassurance that everything was OK. With my “It’s OK,” the tail curled up and her nose hit the ground. Fear over-come!
The point to all this is that we are just the same. Just like Lucy has to put her trust in where I lead her, we need to trust the Father and the path He has laid before us. Sure there will be scary noises along the way, but everything we encounter, He has ordained and allowed for our growth. 1 John 4:18 says this:
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
Just as I know I would not lead Lucy to something that will harm her, I know my heavenly Father would not lead me to something for punishment. He may lead me to something for correction and discipline, because He loves me, but He will not, lead me to punishment. If fear has to do with punishment, what then do I have to fear?
So bring it on 4th of July! We are ready for you!
What are some of the experiences He has brought you through were there was fear, but when you look back you see that it was only a loud noise?