Even Though I Walk Where Dogs Attack…

Last week I wrote these words in my new book and posted them as an excerpt on Sharing Love and Truth. “Your heart rises to heaven with expectation of His goodness in both your coming and your going. Not only do you reflect a good God, but you do good things, simply because He does good things. His nature becomes your nature. You see hope in every situation that screams defeat because the Author of Life invades your nature through your worship in spirit and in truth.” You can read the full post here.

Yesterday, I was given opportunity to practice these words. This is why I include a page entitled “Walk It Out” in each chapter of the new book; it’s not enough to simply know the Word of God; we have to live it!

I arrived at the trail with a readiness for some good physical exertion. I didn’t play any tunes because I anticipated spending time with the Lord in prayer and reflection. Yesterday was one of those perfect weather days, so I quickly discovered that many people had the same idea about enjoying the park. I barely got into the run when my course made a sudden change.

I always watch my foot placement on the areas with lots of tree root exposure and wooden steps cut into the hills. That was my focus when I stayed to the far right to allow a group of girls to pass me in the opposite direction. I barely noticed the large dog with them until he loudly barked and clamped onto my thigh. Suddenly, I was in pain and bleeding! Honestly, I lost it! I started screaming, “Oh my gosh!” I was in shock that I had just been attacked by a dog.

Don’t get me wrong- I love dogs! Typically, when I’m not so focused on my own footing while running, I give the pups I pass on the trail a friendly, “hey, baby” greeting. I love dogs! I have dogs of my own. Yet, I am certain that “Cujo” is not going to be a candidate for Canine Citizen of the Month!

It gets a little worse: I was the second park visitor that he bit yesterday. While I was talking with the park police, a walker came out from the trail saying she also encountered the protective dog. When it happened, she asked the owner to please remove the dog immediately from the trail. The girls said they did just that- they turned around and headed back to the parking lot. While in route, we crossed paths.

After a quick clean-up and bandage of the wounds from the paramedics and the sharing of information with park police, animal control and the dog’s owner, I was able to reach out to the three young girls and tell them I was sorry for all of the shouting on the trail. I assured them that I wasn’t mad at them or the dog,  and I hugged each of them (minus “Cujo”) when we said good-bye.

I am doing much better today. Yesterday required a doctor visit, a tetanus shot, and the start of an antibiotic. The wounds will heal, and I’m trusting God to allow me to realize that quickly. I want to get back to running!

But here’s the sweetness of the Lord’s Presence I excitedly share with you: when I got into the car to leave the park and head to the doctor’s office, I listened to Alistair Begg on the radio as he read Psalm 139. These words ministered to me as I cried and released emotions stored up for the previous hour. May you be blessed to know that you are never alone. God is with you and using all things for the promotion of His goodness in your life!

O Lord, You have searched me and You know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue You know it completely, O Lord. You hem me in- behind and before; You have laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from Your Presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast (Psalm 139:1-10).

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