Tag Archives: guide dog

Guide Dog Tales: Come Close

Come Close

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28 NKJV

Two of Iva’s many commands are “Come” and “Close”.” “Come is reserved for times when she is off-leash, and I need her to come to me. “Close” is usually used when she is on her leash, and I want to draw her close to my body in order to position her in a “Sit” and “Down” to tuck her out of the way. For instance, I use it while I sit on the bench at Walmart, waiting for my husband. I like to keep her from laying in the busy aisle.

One Sunday, at church, as I headed to the altar, I noticed Iva’s pace was much faster than normal. Normal for church that is. Then I realized why. My pastor was saying, “Come…come.” Iva thought Pastor Ray was calling her to come to him. But Pastor Ray’s invitation was an extension of the authoritative call to repentance from Jesus Christ found in the above verse.

Jesus welcomed all to come to Him, those who labored under sin’s burden. Those who were heavy laden under hundreds of Jewish manmade laws that had been added to the laws of God. Those who were weary from the burdens of life. “Come to Me,” said Jesus, “and I will give you rest.” Rest from sin’s power. Rest from sin’s penalty. Rest from our heavy load. Rest from the burdens of religious leaders.

Do you need His rest today? Most of us live overloaded schedules and find little time for rest. Why is that? Could it be that we haven’t heeded Jesus’ call to come to Him? Are you living a life under the reign of sin? Jesus says, “Come!” Go to Him with a repentant heart.

Maybe like the Jews in Jesus’ day, you have religion, but you don’t have the relationship. Many denominations, churches, and people are still depending on good works. Works won’t get you to heaven, but the rest Jesus offers will.

Perhaps, you have the right relationship with Christ, but the troubles of life weigh you down. Those are the moments when we need to come close. We need to get in the presence of our Father. We cannot burn the candle at both ends and expect the rest Jesus promised when we have little time for Him. Get in the presence of Jesus.

Do we rush to the Lord with heightened expectancy like Iva scurried to Pastor Ray? Do we linger in the presence of the Holy Spirit soaking in His anointing, His blessings, His grace, His peace, and His joy?

Sweet friend, we have to seek the presence Of Jesus if we long for His rest. He desires to help us carry the load, but we must be close enough for Him to do it.

Go to the Lord in prayer. He is calling you. Seek Him, and give Him all those burdens you have tried handling on your own. Give them to the one who cares for you.

casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (1 Pet. 5:7)

Copyright 2019 Carolyn Dale Newell.

 

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.