One night she would not sleep. She stood by the closed bedroom door. Finally when Adam held her, she was a "quivering mass of dog-flesh," as he described her. She was a nervous wreck! He wanted her to relax in his arms, but she refused.
Our pastor preached on Psalm 46 last night. That's the famous psalm with these words: "Be still, and know that I am God." Literally, the text says, "Relax! Let go!" Stop being a quivering mass of human-flesh! How often does God take us in His protecting arms, and long for us to relax and trust Him, but we will not? Sandy reminds me of myself.
Then Adam came up with a great idea. He went to the basement the other day and pulled out Sandy's metal dog crate. In case you don't know, dogs love their crates. They feel protected, secure. We had no idea, but evidently Sandy was missing her crate. Adam set it up outside our bedroom door. She was so excited! When she saw it, she went in, and came out and sat in his lap, over and over, and made happy little puppy noises. She has delighted in sleeping in her crate, and much of her other bad behavior has stopped.
Psalm 46 also says, "God is our refuge and strength ... The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold." A stronghold is a fortress, a castle, a tower of defense. Another favorite verse is Proverbs 18:10: "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe."
What is a tower? Recently I've learned about this ancient walled town in Italy, San Gimagnano. It is famous for its towers. These were fortified cities with walls around them. But when the towns were besieged (as this one was), and the walls penetrated, what did the people do?
God's name -- His character and His attributes -- are just such a refuge for us, in trouble and trial. How hard would it be to huddle inside one of San Gimagnano's dark towers, with murderous soldiers thudding at its doors, and relax? To sleep? To trust in the tower's invulnerability?
I can trust in God's justice, His love, His faithful promise of provision and care, His power. It is a tower against which no force can win. In this tower, I can relax, because I know who He is.
I'm not claiming to understand or even practice these truths. I'm only telling them to myself over and over, because I'm often weak and faithless. Relax in the tower of God's care.