Walks With Wilson3
I’m a cat person. Always have been and always will be. I really just love animals in general and choose to “adopt-not-shop”. I headed home for Christmas a few years ago, a recent victim of company-wide layoffs from my first job, when my sweet Mom encouraged me to adopt a cat to have in my apartment. I’m not always a fan of her free advice, but this I could get on board with. Who knew cats were buy-one-get-one free around the holidays at the Humane Society?! So back to Greenwood I went with not one, but two new roommates.
When Matthew and I got married, he was pretty adamant about getting a dog to counteract the cats, so the hunt began for the perfect rescue dog. We found our mutt, Wilson, at an animal rescue in Starkville and our lives will never be the same. What I looked forward to the most was going on long walks with Wilson and using him as an excuse to exercise.
Once we finally coaxed him out of the house on the leash, we quickly found out that he is afraid of cars. Come to find out this makes sense considering he was found in a box with his sister on the side of the road when he was rescued. When he hears a car coming he immediately heads in the opposite direction and lays down cowering. With lots of practice and vocal encouragement he’s gotten better about this, but I still find myself frustrated that my company is not enough to make him feel safe. I so badly want Wilson to be comforted by me and know that I’m not going to let anything happen to him, but no matter how many times I tell him “it’s okay, Wilson” or “you’re a good boy”, he still wearily anticipates what’s to come.
In Isaiah 43, after God has addressed Israel and Jacob’s disobedience, instead of showing anger and frustration, He shows them grace and reminds them of how much they are loved, regardless of how they continue to not listen to Him.
But now, this is what the LORD says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cush and Seba in your stead.
4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
So many times I find myself “wearily anticipating” what’s to come and fail to listen to God comforting me and reminding me that I’m not alone. In those situations, I become so independent and rely so much on myself that sometimes I’m not listening to God give me the same encouragement I give to Wilson. Nothing will overcome us under God’s watch. The fires won’t burn us and we will not drown in the waters. I chalk things up to be so rough in my head that it’s hard to stay positive, but here God is telling me blatantly: DO NOT FEAR!
How lucky are we to never have to face our fears and struggles alone? As cars come and we are hunkered down in the grass waiting for them to pass by, God is right there with us. And when the day comes when we decide to stay standing and let the cars pass us, He’s right there with us.