Lesson Learned from a Restive Retriever
“The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.”
(Ps. 16:6 — NIV)
Unlike our Pyrenees prisoner, whose restlessness landed him behind extra strands of barbed wire on our neighbors’ farm, our restive Retriever puppy faces restrictions for different reasons. Whereas Finley wandered willfully, Prancer is clueless — plain and simple. She chews things she can’t digest; wrestles dauntlessly with our German Shepherd, who’s two times her size; and desires to visit the pasture and our Highlander cows who could, with one swift kick, send her to her Maker.
Thus, during the day, we walk her on a leash; allow her unattended outside time only when securely fastened to a lead buried in the ground; and she’ll soon be wearing a training collar, which will teach her her boundaries. At night, we command, “Crate up,” and she reluctantly enters a small cage where she sleeps in isolation until dawn’s early light.
But whereas Finley’s captivity is the result of his waywardness, Prancer’s restrictions by day and confinement at night are for her safety. Because we know better than she does what is good and right for her, and — having read sound instruction in Puppy Training 101 — we’re applying such wisdom that she might see her first birthday, not to mention another day. And not just for her sake. After all, we happen to love her and want to protect her — not to mention, reward her. As part of her obedience training, when she’s well-behaved, we say, “Good job!” and give her a treat. This makes us happy — and Prancer, too!
Oh, how much more is Abba’s love for us, His children? His Word offers all wisdom necessary for living lives pleasing and acceptable to Him, not to mention thorough instruction that, when applied, works for our safety. Indeed — for our good.
Because, you know — I think God kind of loves us and desires to keep us safe as He prepares for us a delightful inheritance. Heaven, with its boundless beauty, is where we’ll behold our loving Lord and Master face to face.
And, perhaps, rewarding us as we walk in obedience to Him — giving us the gifts of joy and peace — delights Him even more than it does us. Can you hear Him?