This morning I walked up the street to meet my walking buddy. Halfway there, I was met by a barking, growling beast.
This particular dog does not like to be cooped up in his back yard, and he gets out at every possible opportunity. Apparently, sometime in the night he found his opportunity, because he was out and about before the sun this morning. His barking began when I was still half a block away, and as I drew closer he ventured away from his yard toward the street where I walked.
Now, I’m not one who is naturally afraid of dogs, but I also know what one can do if it’s angry enough. So, I am careful around them, and I give them a wide berth. This particular dog definitely knew how to look and act ferocious, and I could feel my heart begin to beat and my body respond with natural defense.
My mind, however, sent other signals, allowing me to calmly continue down the street with no need to redirect my path to avoid the beast. You see, I know this dog. I know that if I were to mess with his family, he’d defend them. But, otherwise he is one of the sweetest dogs I have ever met. What proof do I have of that? He won my son over in under five minutes.
My six-year-old loves the idea of dogs, but he is easily overwhelmed by the reality of them. Little yippy dogs ovewhelm him with their high pitched barks and hyperactivity. Bigger dogs overwhelm him with their size. Typically, a big dog must stand calmly and allow my son to pet him for a while before they can be friends, and little dogs rarely win him over.
This dog was a completely different story. When he and my son met, the dog hardly slowed down for an instant, but my son did not run, nor did he try to hide behind me. Somehow, my son just trusted. Before I knew it, the two were playing fetch, the huge dog running circles around my baby boy but never once playing rough in such a way that he might even accidentally knock my son over.
As I walked this morning, my body tensed based on the physical signals. My mind, however, took control and relaxed based on memory and knowledge.
We receive so many fearful signals from life in this world. There are many reasons to be afraid, and we automatically react to such stimulus.
But there’s a difference between the fearful things of this world and the dog I met this morning. You see, if that truly had been a dangerous dog, I would have had real reason to fear for my safety. In this world, however, we never have need for fear, no matter how horrible the threat. What we do have need of is a heart and mind that takes control and reminds us of our safety.
The God who created everything in existence protects us.
His power stands available for our use.
The One who is in charge loves us.
As our Father, He will protect us to the best of His ability. And His ability is infinite.
As I left the house this morning I felt weighed down by those threats of this world. A barking dog reminded me that victory is mine in the Lord God Almighty. No change in circumstances. No reduction in “threat.” Just my mind taking control and speaking wisdom to the rest of me based on what I know to be true.
What truth do you need to rest in today?