It was a beautiful sunny day along England’s south coast. Jack and I were enjoying our daily outing to his playground; he trotting along in sniffing enjoyment, while I was content with nature’s warmth on my face. Jack often runs ahead or lags behind, disappears into a clump of trees, reappearing from a different clump along the way.
On this particular walk he had been ahead and then darted back to investigate the inside of some bushes. I kept walking on as usual, knowing he would suddenly appear at my side or come running by in a happy black flash, but he didn’t come. I slowed my pace, glancing back, certain I would see him. There was no Jack. I retraced my steps and there he was, halfway backed inside a bush, eyes shining, mouth open, white teeth gleaming, pink tongue hanging out in his delight. “Come on, Jack,” I call. He doesn’t move. Strange. He was so still. I called again. Nothing. I go to him. “Come on, Jack. Let’s go.” He remains steadfast, peaceful, smiling at me. I bend down and that’s when I see the problem. Somehow Jack had managed to get his leg caught in the fork of a branch growing close to the ground. I freed him from the wooden offence and off he goes, trotting ahead to continue his happy enjoyment of smells, treasures, wind and sun.
I kept thinking about Jack’s demeanor during his brief entrapment. No fear, no jerking about to free himself; only calm in the wait. My heart warmed in his trust that I would come to rescue him; therefore, no need to panic. Just trust and wait. Can you guess where I’m going with this?
You and I get pinned down by life’s situations. They are often unpleasant and difficult; we don’t know how to escape. Unlike Jack, who simply waited, eyes on me, knowing without a doubt that I would come to help, you and I thrash about in tiring effort to solve our dilemma. We see no way out. Despondency knocks on the door to our thoughts. We open the door. Despondency enters and brings its friend, Despair. Fright gatecrashes the party of — Fear Taking Over. We don’t know what to do! Chaos beats loudly on drums of confusion and hopelessness.
At last we look up and guess who’s there? Here comes Jesus, walking on our troubled waters, dabbing away our tears which He keeps in a bottle because they are precious to Him, bringing peace to calm the storm of our distress. If only, like Jack, we would stand still in the first place, focused on the One who will come to our aid, the One who will free us from troubles that ensnare, then we could all run onward again with that sense of peace, happiness, and fun.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in times of trouble.” Psalm 46:1