Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

Psalm 27: 14

 

This past weekend we watched a three day dog agility trial; it was fun and exciting, there was a lot of laughter and some tears, and like so much of what we do in life, there were some aspects of it all that seem to have a broader application than just the event and the moment. There is a dramatic moment in almost every individual run when the dog and handler team have entered the arena and are getting ready to start their event. The handler removes the collar and lead from the dog, commands the dog to stay, and walks up the coarse to get ready to direct and command the dog through the coarse. This is a moment of tension and of trust; sometimes the dog just can’t wait any longer and explodes into action; in some other situations, the handler gets anxious and inadvertently signals the dog to start; and most of the time, the well-practiced trust relationship between them works, and the dog waits for the handler’s signal to start the run. Patience, trust, understanding, appreciation, and forgiveness are needed and are exhibited continually throughout the events.

 

It is this waiting and trusting part of life that I find particularly challenging; I can get very anxious and get to that state of mind in a huge hurry. Then fear, concern, and anxiety start to prevail, and my thoughts and my energy start to get tangled and dissipated in nonproductive ways. When this happens, I start to run the coarse of my day at full speed as if the pace will make up for not knowing where I am going; I am soon off track and need to start looking around trying to find the next place that I am supposed to go; then, it all just falls apart. I have consumed time and energy, become truly frustrated, and in the end, there is no qualifying score and no ribbon. 

 

However, there is always God, and He is always there with a smile, a hug, and a treat, and He always tells me that He wants to go try it all again with me. The Lord knows the coarse, He knows me and what I need to successfully negotiate it, and He has the sort of patience with me that never gives up. God knows that I struggle with having the strength and the courage that are needed to wait for His leading; so, He keeps practicing with me, and He continuously works with me until I start to understand Him better and to trust Him more fully. For me, strength and courage are found in waiting, watching, and listening; and they are the result of trusting the Lord in everything.