Tuesday, February 16, 2010

God is like a guide dog for the blind

Good morning. Today’s scripture comes from Psalm 32:8, 10 (New Living Translation): The Lord says, “I will guide you
along the best pathway
For your life.
I will advise you and watch
over you.

… But unfailing love surrounds
those who trust the Lord.”

Guide dogs are the eyes for the blind, assisting them in their everyday lives. When they reach a street corner, they know when to stop and when to go, so that the blind do not walk into oncoming traffic. The dogs come to know the way to the supermarket or to the post office by going left or right. They learn where danger is and protect their masters. Before a dog can become a guide dog, he must go through rigorous training as a puppy to prepare him.

God is like a guide dog for the blind – except he doesn’t need any training. He is omniscient and all-knowing, so he knows what is best for each of our lives. He knows what is coming up in our lives, so he tries to guide us “along the best pathway.” Dictionary.com gives several definitions for the verb to guide: a) to assist (a person) to travel through, or reach a destination in, an unfamiliar area; b) to force (a person, object, or animal) to move in a certain path; and c) to supply (a person) with advice or counsel as in practical or spiritual affairs.

God is like the examples in a and c, but not b. He gives us assistance and advice, but he doesn’t force us to do what he suggests because he gives us free will. Following God’s path does not mean an easy life. On the contrary, scripture says that following Christ will mean difficulty. When we stray from God’s direction, we get off the path he has chosen for us and the consequences mount. Sometimes, we see the error of our ways and we scurry back to God’s chosen path for our lives because we see how bad the wrong pathway is for us. God is always there to take us back, although there still may be a rebuke. He takes us back because he is graceful. God’s unfailing love is there for those who choose his path. His love gives us the peace and confidence in our lives that we can face any trial and survive and even thrive.

Back to our guide dog analogy: What if the blind person didn’t trust his dog, and he fought the dog’s guidance? Chaos would ensue, and the blind person may end up lost. Trust builds over time between the blind and his guide dog. A bond develops between the two when, day after day, the dog leads the blind safely to his destination and back home again. With trust comes love and assurance of future safety. So it is with God. Each time we choose the right path, our trust in God builds. The hard part is coming to that place where our faith in God is tested. Our faith grows when we say “I don’t know where we’re going, Lord, but I trust you are leading me down the right path. I know you’re with me to guide me. Here we go.”

How does this apply to my life?

Today’s prayer: Lord, help me to turn to you today for guidance and direction. Help me to trust you with where you send me. Amen

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