Tag Archives: guide dog team

Guide Dog Tale:Guided by the Master

 

Guided by the Master

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV

Iva and I embarked upon a new adventure. A deep snow had blanketed our community, but it was melting fast. After two fun-filled days of playing in the snow, which Iva loves, I decided to venture out.

I don’t know about your neighborhood, but our city snow plows miss a lot. The warm sun had chased the ice away except for the multiple snowbanks left by the snow plows.

Iva went full steam ahead, happy to be walking again, but as she began crossing our first patch of snow, I hesitated. She noticed my reluctance as she looked back at me. Then she continued forward.

“Wait!” I exclaimed unsure of proceeding.

Iva knew I disliked the slippery spot we found ourselves on. She continued, but at a much slower pace until we reached the pavement again.

From that point on, Iva carefully guided me across multiple snowbanks, sometimes taking me around them. Iva and I had never worked together in this amount of snow. Usually the streets remain icy or filled with salt, which isn’t good for Iva’s paws. She was raised in Massachusetts by Racheal Belle, where snow was frequent. But Iva never learned to guide in the snow. She had been trained at Guiding Eyes from April to September, when snow wasn’t around.

Iva worked like a pro, guiding me across places I didn’t want to travel. Places that made me feel uncomfortable at best. Apprehensive and unsteady at worst.

God spoke to me as Iva directed my steps. He said, not audibly, “Carolyn, this is how I guide you, but you often want to put on your brakes. You don’t want to journey through the unknown. You pull back when the going gets rough. “

Iva was saying, not audibly, “Trust me, Mom. I’ve got this.”

And that is what God says to me too. Trust Me to direct your steps. Finances look bleak? Trust Me. You feel weak and inadequate? Trust Me. You have lost loved ones? Trust Me. Prayers aren’t answered fast enough? Trust Me. The enemy attacks? Trust Me. Stepping out in a new calling? Trust Me.

And God says that to you too. He wants us to trust whole-heartedly as He takes us by the hand and guides us across troubled waters. Half-hearted faith won’t do. Trust God with that stronghold. Trust God with that addiction. Trust God with that rebellious or wayward child. Trust God to walk you through grief, death, disease, depression, and peril.

Christians are guided by the Master. As the Israelites traveled to the Promised Land, they were led by a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire by night. Likewise, God goes before us, leading the way. Will we follow in faith, or will we shrink back in unbelief?

Copyright 2019 Carolyn Dale Newell.

Guide Dog Tale: Walking Without Sight

Walking Without Sight

By Carolyn Dale Newell

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV

Iva came to a stop, but I didn’t know why. I stretched out my hand in front of me. I didn’t have to reach far before I discovered the cold, metal pole. Another step or two and my face would have painfully made contact with it. “Good job, Iva!” I praised smiling big, while Iva gobbled up her treat.

We left Walmart and headed across the parking lot to the strip mall. Parking lots are not the best place for blind people to navigate. We crossed from the sidewalk to a grassy area surrounded with curbing. From there, we could cross another short distance to our desired destination.

I carefully listened for cars. Of course, you never get a silent moment in a busy parking area.

“Iva, forward.” I commanded, but Iva refused to budge. Just then, I heard a car slowly pass us. Iva practiced intelligent disobedience by refusing to obey me because of the oncoming vehicle. Guide dogs are trained to disobey our commands if they see potential danger we cannot see.

Walking without sight is walking by faith. Whether I walk with my white cane or Iva, I trust God for my next step. I trust Iva not to walk me into something. I don’t tiptoe through Walmart, hand extended, waiting to bump into something. A cloud of fear doesn’t follow me wondering where my foot will land. I can’t see my next step, but I take it in faith, full steam ahead.

Many Christians think they walk by faith, but they really walk by sight. Walking by faith gives the money to the needy without knowing how they will manage. Walking by sight waits to see if God will provide before they give. Walking by faith believes God will heal. Walking by sight says God can heal. Do you see the difference?

Walking by faith proceeds with God’s calling on someone’s life, trusting God to provide. Walking by sight waits to see how it’s going to work first.

My visual impairment has taught me valuable faith lessons. Understanding what it means to physically walk by faith helped me spiritually walk by faith.

Faith is complete unhindered and uninhibited trust in God. It is an action, not only something you believe. Faith walks as well as talks. Faith steps out, not knowing the next step, but knowing God knows.

Friend, are you walking by faith, or are you walking by sight? Don’t be too hard on yourself if you honestly admit you have depended on sight more than faith. Even the twelve apostles were part of the “O ye of little faith” group. Begin to lean on faith more without depending on sight at all.

Now that you know the difference, commit to trust God. Nothing will be impossible when you put feet behind your faith.

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.