First Christian Church | Pittsfield

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God Is With Us

04.25.18 | Michael's Corner | by Michael Ten Eyck

    I have a special furry friend.  His name is Ollie. He is a happy, hopping ball of frizzy energy who cannot control his excitement when he sees a person.  Ollie spends most good-weathered days in our fenced-in backyard while we are at work and school. This arrangement has worked out until the nasty, wet weather.  The soft wet grass was not able to stand up to Ollie’s jumping and prancing, and the result was several bare patches where he had dug up the grass.


    In an effort to welcome in the spring, I have tried to repair the grass, despite Ollie’s insistence that he needs to be in that area.  My first effort to keep him out of the new grass growth was to line up all my lawn furniture and build a barrier. As I was putting up the last chair on its side and began to review my work, I noticed something brushing against my leg.  Ollie had leapt over the chair and was admiring the work from the inside.


    I then got some bright orange plastic construction fencing and some metal rods to keep it in place.  This worked for several days till I came home from lunch and found Ollie napping in a new hole he had dug in the new grass.  The fence was still up. I can only imagine that he had somehow nuzzled under the bottom of the plastic fence to get in. Why dogs prefer places they are not supposed to be is a mystery.  Perhaps akin to why we often are drawn to places we ought not be.


    Try as I might,  the only way I am able to keep this rascal out of the restricted area is to actually be in the permitted part of the yard with him.  If he sees me enter the yard he immediately makes his way out of the “no” area and runs to me as if he had done nothing wrong. Bad Dog! Puppy school is needed, or I need to stay home with him constantly, as the only thing he seems to love more than being in the “no” part of the lawn is to be with his family.


    I kind of think we are like that as well.  When we discern God’s presence we run to Him, amazed at the grace and love that He bestows upon us.  It is the times we believe ourselves to be alone and separate that we can drift into the areas that bring trouble. The problem with this thought is that we are really never alone.  David puts it like this:

    Ps 139:7-12 - 7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.   -NIV


    Comfort and strength come from the understanding that God is always with us.  Always. In the light and in the dark, He is near. There is no need to waste time and energy digging holes in the areas of destruction when we can be enjoying fellowship with our Lord and King.  Reflect on David’s words and remind yourself of the truth of God’s closeness.


    Loving you all,

    Michael