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He prepares the way

 

Brenda DeLauder Columnist

  As Christians, we often face difficult trials throughout life and some of them can prove to be interesting. Sometimes we can look back and catch a glimpse of how an incident, which happened years before, was the beginning of changes, not only in the history of the world, but within our individual lives.

  Four years ago our old dog, Bear, and I fought a life-threatening battle when our early morning walk was interrupted by a surprise attack from two vicious dogs on the prowl. We survived and healed, though it speeded up the aging of Bear and left me feeling wary of aggressive dogs, which was something new to me.

  When Pepper came along and grew old enough to take walks, I would change our route to avoid loose dogs. That is until one recent morning when Pepper and I headed down a nearby dirt road. When we rounded a curve, we were greeted by ferocious barking of a loose dog. We immediately turned around to go home, but suddenly I stopped and said “No. We are not going to do this any more.” Turning back around, I told Pepper to heel and we marched on. Using my command voice I spoke to the aggressive-acting dog and while he didn’t stop barking, he did not approach us. On the return trip, we both had more confidence and breezed right by the dog. When we were almost home, I realized a huge boulder had been lifted from my path, which had been there for the last four years.

  Sometimes when people need to be thought of as “in charge” they say or do stupid things. Dealing with a group, often referred to as the Clique in Charge, I have had to turn the other cheek on a number of occasions. Snapping back with retorts won’t help the situation, but admittedly it can be difficult not to do so. Shortly after the incident with the barking dog, I felt a change in how I viewed this situation. Bullies are not just in schools, but also in the work place and even in our churches. While I’m not looking to fight it out, I believe it’s time to stand my ground. To allow bullies a clear path only enables them.

  Through all of these recent revelations, I have increased my praying. I want to be sure I am hearing God and not just my own mind. On a recent afternoon “Pray without ceasing” came to me as clearly as could be and I immediately began. Not knowing whom I was praying for, I simply asked God for help to be given to those in need and continuously prayed for Thy will to be done. I felt a strong urgency to not stop, but to continue and I did so. Over an hour later I heard “Be still” in much the same way I had been instructed to pray. I obeyed. I sat very still in my rocker on the porch, allowing the quiet to fill me. My next thoughts went to scripture and the first verse to pop into my head was Ecclesiastes 3:1, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Then in 3:7 it continues with “. . . a time to be silent and a time to speak.”

  It’s not all smooth sailing and I spend a lot of time asking God to forgive me for failing, but I will not give up. I don’t know what each day holds, but I do know, without a shadow of doubt, I do not walk alone. Christ prepares the way, so we can handle whatever is placed before us.

  

  Brenda Nail DeLauder is a native of Henry County. Her heart remains in her hometown.

 

 

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