Our dog hates bridges.
Well, really any different texture under his feet than concrete firmly grounded.
When we attempt to walk him over a bridge, he lets us know how much he opposes this travesty by dramatically pulling sideways as though he wishes to jump off the other side. He doesn’t realize that the bridge structure doesn’t change, and we, as his human parents, will keep him safe. We are looking ahead and watching our every step to make sure the bridge is stable for him.
Yet he wants to pull toward the danger. Toward where he thinks would be best. He trusts his doggy logic over the human reasoning of those who love him most.
I, too, do this.
So many days I pull and tug and fight against the small, still voice of the One who loves me enough to die and rise again for me. The One who calls me, daughter, beloved. The One whose thoughts and ways are always higher than my own. The One who sees the whole path, the whole purpose, even when I feel I am fighting through the underbrush of life.
I know how much He loves me. How much He longs for me to trust Him.
Yet I pull.
It’s been a difficult season lately. Or should I say it is a difficult season? There are good days and bad. Days where I feel the darkness of overwhelm receding, and days where it takes everything to get out of bed. So many changes in a mere four months…and life doesn’t stop to give us time to process, to grieve, to refresh and refocus. It continues on, with more and more bridges to cross, more and more shaky ground to cover.
Recently I’ve felt as though I’m on wobbly bridge, straining to see the other side, tugging to go my “safe” way only to feel that pause in my soul, that quiet voice saying — trust me.
I would love to say I immediately and always do. But that would not be true.
There are many times where anger follows, where my self-righteousness, my pride, my desire for control wins. I drown out the warning, the hesitation with the ready-made noise all around me. Though this tactic may last for a little while, it always leaves me feeling empty, exhausted, and more confused.
Since we found out our dog’s fear of bridges, we haven’t avoided them. Instead, we’ve made it a point to keep including them in our walks, praising him when he lets us lead, and gently redirecting when he surrenders to his fears and pulls sharply left.
I find a lesson in this for me, for us, as well — we don’t avoid the things that make us fearful, anxious, and hungry for control — we face them, leaning into them, learning and relearning that the Master, our Savior Jesus Christ, has the other end of the leash.
And, although He gives us freedom to make choices, to live life on our terms, He’s on the bridge with us, always waiting for us to choose to trust Him.
To trust His love.
His naming of Who we are — His children.
I am right here, my child, and I am never letting go.
“Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.”
~Proverbs 3:5-6 (The Message)