Pepper--the Dog

Pepper--the Dog

by Joan Ray

I have this adorable little Lasha dog. She is neurotic to say the least.
Pepper is scared of everything. She spends a lot of time under my bed or behind the couch. If people come over and they are quiet she may come out. But if the grandkids come over, she hides. She loves all of us and usually comes out to greet each one of us with great joy. Then she may sit by or on us or go back under the bed. When I was depressed, she was a great comfort because she was so content to lay beside me on the couch. At that time, she was always snuggled up to me. She will still sit wherever you are if you let her. She is also totally a creature of habit, very fearful of change.

Right now our house is in a mess because we are getting new flooring and Pepper is having a hard time. I can’t get her to come out from under the bed. Yesterday, in addition to the stuff in our house being moved to different places because we are getting ready for the installation of the flooring, our little tube that feeds water to the ice maker sprung a leak. Water was everywhere, in the dining room, living room, and hall. So since we are getting the new flooring on Friday, we just ripped up part of the old carpet and threw it out. This exposed the bare slab. In order for Pepper to get from my room (under the bed where she is hiding) to outdoors to do her doggy business, she has to pass the bare floor. That poor little dog was able to venture out from under the bed only twice yesterday and one of those times I had to drag her out. Needless to say, she has had very little to eat or drink for the past few days. Isn’t that ridiculous? Just because her environment looks different, she will suffer hunger and thirst rather than venture out into what appears to be the unknown.

How often do we do the same? We hunger and thirst after righteousness. Christ is in effect who we hunger and thirst for because he and he alone is our righteousness. Yet just because he leads us to a place that is unknown or looks different than what we are used to, we choose to hunger and thirst instead of trusting that he is and will be there. We say, I say, I trust him. Yet, just like my dog, sometimes I have to be literally dragged out from what I perceive as safety. And just like Pepper, who thinks hiding under the bed will provide safe haven---when in reality she could starve under there--we “hide” from God’s goodness.

Pepper had not seen that there was now bare floor in part of the hall. Poor little thing had to go to the bathroom at 3 a.m. She came out from
under the bed, walked to the hall, took one look at that floor and ran, tail between her legs, back under the bed. No coaxing would get her out. I had to stick my face right under the bed and beg her. Then I had to carry her outside. She could not and would not walk down the hall.

How often Our Father does just that for us. How often do we act just like Pepper? Even though we know that God is good. He is our protector, our shelter, our refuge and he will even “come and carry us.”
All we have to do is call and be willing to let him. But so often we won’t even do that. So we starve when ALL that we need, all that we could ever ask or imagine, is right outside the door. Only hitch is, first we have to traverse what appears to be “bare floor”, which is in reality God’s provision. Just in a form with which we are unfamiliar.

Pepper needed to go out into the grassy yard. We are promised that he will lead us to green pastures. I for one am so often just as foolish as my little dog. I cling to perceived safety, which is no safety at all. Knowing full well that my true safety is found only from within the Will of God. Yet within myself I am unable to move there, just as Pepper was. Thanks be to God who refuses to leave us “under our beds”. For he desires that we live life and abundant life too.

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