Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding,
Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check.
She sits in the coolness of the green grass in the shade of a large Austrian pine.
It’s a sparkling fall day. A hint of autumn scents the late summer air. It would be perfect day for this young German girl, except for one thing.
A long chain is anchored to the pine and attached to a collar that always encircles her neck. She learned a long time ago not to fight the metal. She sits in resignation and yearns for the freedom just beyond her reach.
Someone walks over and offers her water. She stands hopefully and wags her tail.
We would love to let her go, but we know what will happen. The moment she is unchained, she will be gone.
Our son acquired Solo, a German Shepherd cross dog from the local animal shelter, a couple of years ago. We soon realized she would not be a dog who would tag along at our heels on a walk outdoors. Her time living large on the street and her boundless high energy made her a challenge to control, let alone enjoy.
Two years of hard work have turned Solo into a sweet companion. She now loves her daily walks with the leash. She lives in the house, thrives with her new “family,” and is generally well-behaved.
But despite lots of hard work, if we don’t keep her restrained, she will run away from the generous acreage allotted her onto the neighbors’ property and through the fence onto the highway. Worse yet, she refuses to obey our calls to return.
Because of this, she can’t even sit in the yard with us without being chained. She hates it. We hate it. She misses out on so much because she won’t obey us. We all miss out on the joy.
Some days I look at her and wonder:
What freedom have I lost because I haven’t learned to listen to God?
In what ways is my life chained to my disobedience and lack of trust?
What does my Master have planned for me that awaits my surrender to His voice?
Like Solo, our past can shape our responses and hinder our future. Like her, we miss out on so much because we refuse to obey the one who bought us, because we do not understand the nature of our Master. He is good. He is wise. He loves us. We can trust Him.
Obedience brings freedom.