Friday, September 5, 2014

Off The Chain

            We have been fostering our rescue Ridgeback named Nala for about three weeks now and have decided to adopt her. We really wanted a boy dog, but Nala has stolen our hearts. She had never been around children, so we weren’t sure how she would get along with David, Sean and Ruby. We had to be careful about letting them interact with her at first, until we knew how she would react to their playfulness.
            Nala has been very patient and nurturing to the kids and even jumps up to greet them when they get home from school. All of this good behavior is what made our most recent discovery about her personality such a shock. Apparently she thinks other dogs are the enemy and instinctually goes on the attack at the slightest sight, smell or bark of another dog.
            Unfortunately, we learned this the hard way. Chad and I had been working on the front yard all day, and were sitting on the porch that evening enjoying the view. Some of our new neighbors walked by with their sweet little pup on the sidewalk across the street so we waved and made some pleasant conversation back and forth. Life was beautiful, until . . . Sean decided to bring Nala out on the leash. In a split second, Nala had that poor innocent little dog in her sights and she was GONE!
            Sean started yelling for help as Nala dragged him down the yard by the leash. I was running down after Nala and Sean yelling like a crazy person. The poor man was holding his little white fluffy dog up in the air, while I was tackling Nala down to the ground. It was a BAD scene. We were shocked that this sweet loving dog who had been so great with our family could turn into Kujo so quickly.
            “Well, walks around the park are over!” I vowed. She can’t be trusted! We can't hold to that because we love Nala and going on walks is her favorite thing. When I get home from taking the kids to school she runs to her leash and bumps it with her nose until I agree to take her out. She’s our dog now, she belongs to us, we’ve rescued her, now she must be taught how to walk with us.
            Yesterday I was so upset after Chad called to check in. He had gone to visit one of the ladies in our church who had been sick and unable to attend for a few weeks. During their visit she brought it to his attention that one of the residents has been spreading rumors about just about everybody else in our church. Some of the hurtful things she is saying got back to the people and it’s hurting the fellowship we have in our little community.
            My immediate response was anger. I hate gossip worse than anything! It’s like acid. So hurtful and destructive to the body of Christ! I felt like Nala and wanted to go running down the porch to give this lady a piece of my mind. Thankfully, God put the brakes on.
            Disgusted, I hung up the phone, put my head in my hands and prayed to God. Then moving my hands away from my eyes, I looked down to the pages of my Bible open to 2 Timothy 2:24 which says “The Lord’s slave must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach, and patient, instructing his opponents with gentleness.”
            The Lord was tugging at my heart, all He had to do was ask the question, “Aren’t you my slave?” without hesitation I answered, “Yes, I am.” That means I give up the right to quarrel over every wrong done to me and the ones I hold so dearly. I give up the right to go for the jugular in every confrontation. As a matter of fact, I’m to see, as Paul did in this text, the higher purpose and pray for the best possible out come described in the following verses. “ . . . Perhaps God will grant them repentance to know the truth. Then they may come to their senses and escape the Devil’s trap, having been captured by him to do his will.”
            This morning when Nala asked me to take her for a walk, I agreed. After working with her she is learning to ignore the annoying barks and taunts of the other neighborhood dogs. I gave her lots of praises every time she controlled herself. She is learning that to enjoy the walk with her master means submission to my gentle leading.

            I’m so thankful for a Savior who walks with me and talks with Me. He tells me I am His own. He has promised to continue His work in me and see it through until it is complete. He is also seeing His work through in the lives of those who have upset me. We are all a just a bunch of rescues.

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