When Strength Is Gone

Once again I have the great pleasure of having a dog in my care.  Her owner is away and I get to have Katie the Schnauzer for a whole month!  We’re having a wonderful time together.  I take her most places I go.  Today she was a special guest at a social gathering of senior citizens at one of our local churches.  It was a delight to see the people reaching out their hands to pet Katie.  She seemed as pleased as they were, with all the attention and admiration she was getting.

There was one area of concern I had just before Katie came to stay with me.  She has arthritis and her legs have weakened considerably from the last time I had her.  A few months ago she could get up and down the stairs, although not without great concentration and effort.  Now, it is not possible on her own.  She gets a few steps up, then sinks down and slips back.  I knew that would not work for a month.

An idea came.  I purchased a harness.  It fastens securely behind her front legs and gives good support to her chest area.  Now, when she approaches the stairs, I just pull up a bit on the harness, supporting her from the chest (not the neck as a collar would do) and it’s as if she is suddenly, floating up the stairs.  She gets to the top of the landing, obviously happy and proud of herself.  She looks up at me with her lovely, sparkling eyes, as if to say, “Did you see me?  Did you see me?  I did it!”  Indeed, I congratulate her on her success.  This praise instigates a prance of jubilation down the hall.

This incident made me think of difficulties that you and I have in our lives.  Sometimes, there are situations that appear to us as insurmountable.  Solutions to our troubles can’t be found, and success seems unattainable.  What can we do?  How about taking a reminder from Katie and her harness.  What Katie cannot achieve on her own, my strength, pulling her up, helps her succeed.

It’s no different in our relationship with God.  There are times when we just have no strength to go on.  We can’t get above our stairs of difficulty, but God always has the strength we need.  He delights in pulling us up, helping us to succeed.  When we feel ourselves slipping down the stairs, God says to us, “…I will strengthen you.  I will help you.  I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10

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