Back On The Leash

It was a cold but sunny morning when I was out with our dog, Jack, for a mid-morning walk in the park. He was busy with his usual sniffing pursuits when he looked ahead and saw a familiar sight — it was his dog friend Archie, a poodle mix. The two of them run in great circles and roll and tumble with each other. It’s a delight just to observe their happiness.

At the same moment that Jack was taking off toward his friend, I saw from the corner of my eye another dog eyeing him. It was White Dog! Jack had encountered this dog before; neither of them like each other. White Dog was trotting faster. “Jack, wait!” Jack slowed to glance back but made the decision to feign deafness. He ran on. White Dog was coming. I hear another voice. White Dog’s owner is trying to get his dog as I’m trying to get mine. “Jack! Stop!” He at least slowed. I run, take hold of his harness, and hook on the leash. Glancing toward White Dog, his owner had taken hold of him and also hooked on the leash. We wave at each other. All is well; danger avoided.

During all this time, Jack was pulling hard to get to Archie. He looked at me with questioning and frustrating eyes. Why was I keeping him from Archie? He whined and looked at me, eyes pleading to let him go and let him go NOW!!!! I waited while White Dog was disappearing into a grove of trees. I was walking slowly with Jack toward Archie. Jack could hardly stand it, pulling with all his strength in spite of my calls to “slow!” Finally, knowing danger was gone, I let Jack off his leash and he takes off. Oh, the running and playing that took place. Indeed a joy to behold — but only because I made him wait.

Does that remind you of anything? Don’t we all have a little bit of Jack impatience in us? We see something. We make a plan. We want to go in a certain direction. All looks great. We pray, we expect with joyful anticipation — but our Father makes us wait. What? We can see no reason. Our plan is good. We know it is! Why are we waiting?!

We know the answer. Our all-seeing Father sees the White Dogs of our lives posing threats. He loves us so much He can’t let us go — yet. He holds us back. We may pout. We may grow frustrated and angry, but in His love He keeps us on His leash. Oh, what love we cannot see, the times He stops you and me.

“The Lord longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion for you. The Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for His help.” Isaiah 30:18

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