I am having the joy of keeping my friend’s dog while she is away this next week. Katie, the Schnauzer, arrived yesterday. We’re already having a great time together. I love my dogs that I regularly get to take care of when their owners are away.
Katie is a senior dog now and has her share of old-age woes. Arthritis has taken a firm grip and is noticeable by the limp when she walks. I live in an upstairs apartment. Obviously, there are stairs that have to be climbed. I put a strong and short hold on Katie’s leash when she is going down and I stand behind to give little boosts to help her up.
This morning she was all excited as usual as we both got ready for our first walk of the day. It was daybreak and fresh and silent. There is a small lake just outside my home with ducks and moor hens and coots. There is even a fox den inside some dense bushes at the edge of the lake. I love this time of day walking around the lake, and was just as excited about the walk as was Katie.
I quietly opened my door and led the way to the stairs. Katie stopped firm and fast. Having just woken up, she was no doubt feeling extra stiff; her joints had not had time to loosen up. She was prancing up and down on her front feet, so wanting to go down the stairs, but obviously fearful of doing so.
I spoke encouragingly and placing my hand beneath her abdomen I proceeded to guide her down the stairs. I wanted her to feel safe against a possible fall. We took several steps together when all of a sudden Katie took obvious control and began a steady but resolute descent. She no longer needed my help. Away she went!
I find this same thing happens in our spiritual world. We can be fearful about so many issues in our lives. Sometimes the fear takes hold, like Katie’s arthritis, and we are fearful to move; we know our own pain and it could get worse. We stay stuck at the top of the stairs, desperately wanting to get down but fearful to make a move.
I have found in my own experiences that when fear takes hold, I remain fearful as long as I merely stand at the top of the stairs looking down. However, when I take a first step, boldness begins to grow immediately. No matter how weak I feel, with each step taken, faith that speaks, “You can do it!” sounds in my heart. More steps are taken and with each step God pours in His own strength, and peace, courage, and joy.
May you be blessed in the steps you face today. Take the first, God will give you strength needed for all the rest.