“Mrs. TerKeurst, your dog ran away to our house…AGAIN.”
“Mrs. TerKeurst, I think I might have just seen your dog running down the street.”
“Mrs. TerKeurst, this is one of your neighbors just letting you know we’re about to drop off your dog we saw running around our neighborhood.”
“Mrs. TerKeurst, this is the animal clinic, I believe we have your dog.”
“Mrs. TerKeurst, do you own two dogs?”
Y’all, I own three dogs. But my two outside dogs are sometimes delinquent dogs- Champ and Chelsea. I love them. They love me. But they love running away more.
I can’t tell you the number of sleepless nights I’ve had fretting over my dogs. Several times we’ve enlisted our friends to pray for Champ and Chelsea. But this sort of backfired on us once. One of our friends knew Champ had gone missing and miraculously found him in a yard miles from our home.
He was amazed Champ had run so far. He pulled into the driveway, coaxed Champ into his car, and called me with breathless excitement to announce he’d found my beloved dog.
But 5 minutes before my friend got to my house, Champ came home. When my friend pulled into my driveway carrying a Champ look alike, we both about fell over. My friend had just kidnapped someone else’s dog- right from their front yard!
Oh my glory be.
It was time to do something.
I used to think invisible fences were very cruel. I just couldn’t stand the thought of my dog getting a shock. So, I looked into getting a regular fence. But we live on 12 acres of land and installing a regular fence was simply out of the question.
So, an invisible fence it would have to be. After all, a shock to keep them inside the safe boundary is a lot better than what might happen outside the boundary.
Boundaries aren’t cruel barriers meant to keep my dogs from freedom. They are protective restrictions meant to define where safe freedom can be found.
And my dogs aren’t the only ones who need to remember this lesson. I need to remember this. And apply it to the protective restrictions God has for me.
Why? Because there’s usually some sort of boundary my wild heart tries to push against.
Have you ever found yourself rationalizing some situation in your life where you know you aren’t doing what God said we should do?
Does God really want us to love our enemy? Is it really important to not let the sun go down on my anger? Do I really need to pray and read my Bible everyday? Oh, grumbling isn’t so bad… I mean everyone finds something to complain about.
I push against the boundary. Sometimes I even break through it. But what’s waiting on the other side isn’t freedom.
Oh Lord, let my wild heart always remember…
Your instructions, your boundaries, aren’t cruel barriers to keep me from freedom. They are protective restrictions meant to define where safe freedom can be found.
And Lord, if you can teach this same lesson to my dogs, my neighbors and I would be ever so grateful.