“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
Gun dogs have always amazed me. There is nothing quite like them. I had the opportunity to hunt with several great waterfowl retrievers this past season. Their sheer drive and desire to retrieve is incredible. Every bone in their body aches to have feathers in their mouth.
One of the most memorable hunts from this past season was during the early September goose season. It was a good morning and we were in an ideal location. We had already dropped several and the dogs were warmed up from the long offseason. It was around mid-morning when we dropped a goose that landed 100 yards up the river. Immediately the dog was in hot pursuit fighting the current to get to this bird. The owner soon realized the dog had the wrong angle on the bird and with a quick whistle, the dog came to a complete stop in middle of the current and turned to look at the master. The owner gave a quick hand signal to the left and the dog turned and followed the exact direction without any hesitation. In just a few moments, the dog crossed paths with the floating goose and after a quick snatch, he began to swim back to the boat. It was incredible!
To the average person, this is pretty impressive but what they often miss is the hours and years of training to get a dog to that level. This is not an easy concept to train. It requires a remarkable amount of discipline to go against their natural instinct and trust their master. It requires repetition and building trust to achieve this understanding. This is not something that is accomplished overnight and put into the field the next day. It takes developing a relationship with the dog.
Isn’t this such a beautiful picture of our relationship with God? We all have seen those people who in the midst of crisis and sickness, have this unshakable peace that comes only from the Lord. I met this incredible man of God a few years ago who lost his wife to cancer. Shortly after, he battled many health issues of his own. I was amazed that through it all, he kept his faith in the Lord and had this peace that I desired. He trusted God to point the direction for his next step.
This isn’t something we can just obtain overnight. It comes from developing a relationship with the Lord and learning to trust Him over our own instincts. It requires repetition to learn how to hear His whistle and then discipline to go. With all of that said however, it does not make swimming up a raging river any easier but it does make it possible. So trust Him in the small things so when the shots are fired and you are in the raging current, you know what to do. He just may be pointing you into the unknown, but remember the one thing we do know, our God is faithful.