Monday, October 17, 2011

Relax

Poor Sandy.
 She's been under some stress since we moved here. We don't understand the minds of dogs. A resident dog-whisperer would come in handy at times! She had become disobedient, ignoring Adam, fixated on food. She usually sleeps in our room, but she began leaving little "stinky presents" on the floor -- I'd wake in the middle of the night to an offending odor. Adam was at his wit's end. What's wrong with the dog?

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?
They ran into the towers, and closed them up. When under attack, when the city falls, the tower is the last place of security.

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.

4 comments:

  1. I so needed this....thank you for sharing your heart. Trudi

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  2. Yes. Not only the righteous run to that strong tower (which is His Name)for safety, but they are forever safe. How sure are God's promises to us. Thank you for the thoughts.

    Blessings
    Sylvia

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  3. Oh, Sandy! I'm so glad she feels secure with her crate. She's so pretty. Is she semi-jealous of your mom's dog/dogs?
    We ARE weak. Very weak. We need to cling desperately to the Creator, to stay in the crate were He defines us and reminds us.

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  4. Poor Sandy! I'm so glad she's so much better now! I always thought she hated her crate ... always had to be locked up when she was bad and she looked so pathetic...

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