And he said to them all, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Luke 9:23 KJV
Last night I had one of those “aha!” moments while we were watching our favorite television show, “Better human, better dog” with Cesar Milan. I love watching Cesar walk into a home where people have uncontrollable dogs, who are barking, biting and lunging, and in just a few moments, slip a leash around their neck and get them to sit down quietly next to him. Cesar calls this transformation “Calm surrender” and it reminds me of today’s verse. Just like those uncontrollable dogs, I sometimes struggle with what the master expects of me and end up barking at others, hurting those closest to me and in general making a mess our of things. I know what choices I need to make, but the problem isn’t the knowing, it is the trusting God enough to surrender to it.
Now the good news for those like me is that while Cesar Milan may be the dog whisperer, Jesus is the people whisperer! He isn’t at all intimidated by our lunging at our leashes, snarling and making a ruckus. He knows what we need most of all is calm surrender. But in order for that calm surrender to happen on the inside of our hearts, there must first be an invisible transaction of faith. We must trust him enough, every morning, to allow Him to slip the leash around our neck. We do that when we believe that God’s leash, called the cross, is not put meant to strangle us, but to lead us. We can calmly surrender our lives to Him, because we know He has come to give us a better one. When we lie down quietly at His feet, God can drop the leash, because He knows that what keeps us connected to Him is not that leash, but our hearts. Then when we calmly surrender, God can open the door and lead us out to all the good things He has planned for our daily walk with Him!
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16 NIV
On my morning walks I have been greatly enjoying watching one little brood of ducklings growing up as they waddle along with all their might after their mom. Their eager footsteps remind me of one of choruses we used to sing. “This is the Day that the Lord Has Made”. That was a song we sang with enthusiasm and hand clapping, focusing on the following line, “we will rejoice and be glad.” part of the verse. But even though we sang the words, usually we went out and lived the rest of the day, oblivious as to whom it truly belonged. We easily forgot that the day was not ours. When we just, “seize the day” as one popular saying urges us to, we will find ourselves on a pathway alone. That is because every day, not just the one we call, “The Lord’s Day” belongs to Him. Until He has redeemed it, we will miss His purpose. Until we put our time into His hands, we will miss the wisdom of my little web-footed friends, of following Jesus every step of the way!
Are you a staff for the Shepherd to lean on
A yielded heart to His plans for today?
A calendar filled with appointments
On His schedule and choice for your way?
For His burden grows lighter and lighter
And His yoke is a joy to receive
When He gathers the weak and the lowly
To follow and simply believe
Through trials and troubles He leads us
His voice rings more clearly each day
Though dark paths and steep valleys lie just up ahead
He safely carries His lambs all the way!
He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. Isaiah 40:11 KJVHe Safely Carries His Lambs by Peter Caligiuri copyright 2021 all right reserved
You must be logged in to post a comment.