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The Dog Wash

The dogs desperately needed a bath but the groomer was booked three weeks out. Pippy and Molly would have gladly waited that long. They dread the groomer. Pippy shakes the whole way there but I could not endure three more weeks with two stinky schnoodles. My girls desperately needed a bath so it was on to plan B.

The upstairs bathtub. Although convenient, at home washing never gets the job done. While kneeling on the floor and bent over the porcelain surround I can’t scrub well enough to really eradicate the dirt. Then there is the problem of the water pressure when it comes time to rinse. The girls hate the faucet and panic when we get too close to its powerful stream. Pouring water from a pitcher is the only inefficient option.

On to plan C.

The Dog Wash. The girls were excited when I grabbed their leashes and opened the front door. They thought we were headed for a walk but when I went straight to the car Pippy’s face fell into a panic. This wasn’t a mission for a walk. This was a mission for a bath. I could see the anxiety written all over her furry face. She thought she was headed for the groomers.

For the next seven minutes on our way to the dog wash Pippy panicked as if her life were about to be over. I did my best to reassure her. I said, “You are not going to the groomer.” And added, “Or the vet.” But Pippy was relentless in her fearfulness. She refused to settle down.

Until we arrived at our dog wash destination.

The moment I opened the door and Pippy jumped out of the car with relief and joy. She could smell the air and it wasn’t the groomers. She could see the pavement and it wasn’t the parking lot she had dreaded. Pippy pranced with glee because I wasn’t about to leave her behind to be shampooed by a stranger. I was going into the dog wash with her and I would be staying the whole time.

Fifteen minutes later the dogs and I had completed our cleanliness mission and were back in the car headed home. Both dogs behaved beautifully in the bath tub and Pippy never panicked. All three of us enjoyed the ride home in peace.

 

Poor Pippy, her fearfulness isn’t her fault. As I watched her panting in the backseat I realized that she’s just behaving how she was taught from her Mom. Pippy learned how to be fearful from watching me.

The truth is, I am fearful and prone to panic. While riding on the road of life I shake and pant with all of the anxiety of an unsettled Schnoodle. Even though God is behind the wheel I become anxious and tremble as if something terrible were about to happen. Even though the Word of God reassures me that the destination ahead is going to be good and glorious, I hold onto my concerns. Even though the Lord commands me not to worry I refuse to release my fear.

Until we arrive at God’s destination.

When the door is opened and God’s plan is revealed I leap into the future with joy because the reality is never what I feared. My anxiety disappears and all shaking is settled because God is not dropping me off at the groomers. He is not leaving me behind. Every time He opens the door the glory of His presence is revealed. God isn’t going anywhere. He is staying right there with me.

There is nothing to fear and no reason to panic. God is not about to abandon you and me, His precious children, at the groomer. Christ is going with us into the dog wash. The restorative, redemptive hand of God will go with you into the tub. The Spirit of God will surround you in every cycle and see you  through until His work is done and you are clean!

Thank God the groomer was booked and the tub at home wouldn’t do. As it turns out I’m the one who needed the trip to the dog wash so God could cleanse my heart of panic and fear and restore peace as I ride in the backseat with Him.

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Immediate Obedience

It was 2:30 AM and Pippy was desperate for a bathroom break. This is not part of her usual routine. The last time Pippy begged to be let out in the middle of the night was seven years ago.

At the time Pippy was just a puppy and unable to hold her bladder. On those hot August nights I recall reluctantly pulling myself out of bed and sleepily shuffling towards the steps holding Pippy in my arms. Slowly but gingerly I would tiptoe down the wooden steps, careful not to slip with my restless schnoodle puppy in toe.

Once successfully past the treacherous treads and out the front door I plopped Pippy down in the grass and instruct her to do her business. With a bewildered look she would glance around the yard as if contemplating what to do next.

To help my puppy along in the decision making process I repeated a familiar training command. “Go pee, Pippy,” I would say with authority. Looking back at me with her head tilted to the side and a confused look in her puppy eyes, it’s as if Pippy would say, “I have no clue what you’re saying.”

Seven years later I shuffled down the steps in the middle of the night carrying my grown up “puppy.” To this day she refuses to walk down those treacherous treads. After successfully making it down the steps we exited through the front door and I softly set Pippy down on the front porch. As she walked into the yard I gently whispered, “Go pee, Pippy” and immediately, she obeyed on command.

A few seconds later Pippy completed her mission and dutifully returned to the porch. We carefully made our way back up the steps and climbed back into bed. Both Pippy and I quickly fell back to sleep and enjoyed the rest of our night in uninterrupted peace

 

During Pippy’s short nighttime waking she reminded me of an important lesson about obedience. When I am awoken and interrupted by restless nights and worldly trouble obedience to the voice of God will always restore me to His comfort and rest. When I hear the call of the Holy King and comply without hesitation He is faithful to carry me into His glorious presence of unending peace and rest.

 

So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.

1 Peter 1:14-16