My dogs are always ready to alert us of an intruder. This would be fine except they are so alert, they bark at everything. Even things that aren’t dangerous.
- A robin finding a worm in our grass – Danger!
- A car door shutting outside – Extreme Danger!
- The weed-eater, vacuum, lawnmower, motorcycle, garbage truck, insert anything loud here – Code Red Emergency!
- The Mailman – don’t even think of surviving this one!
- Someone knocking on our door – It’s the end of the world as we know it!
They can appear to be sound asleep and then hear the mailman’s footsteps on the porch and go into full protection mode. Once one dog starts, the other is right behind and if they are on high alert mode, forget trying to divert their attention. It is chaotic if not a deterrent to any danger.
This isn’t always the case though, this morning Birdie is lying close to me and she is ignoring the car doors shutting on the street outside, Buddy is across the room and still barking at every slam of a car door. She is asleep and relaxed, Buddy is sleeping but still on high alert. Birdie feels safe beside me. There is no need to be on alert because she knows that I will take care of her. Buddy still thinks he needs to be the one protecting our space.As a person who struggles with anxiety, I am a world class worrywart. I sometimes feel like I react to life like my dogs. I am on high alert ready to jump into full protection mode at the slightest inkling of danger. I don’t bark but adrenaline will pump into my system, my heart will race, my mind will go to every worst case scenario possible.
Like Birdie, however, when I remember that I’m not alone in this scary world, I can rest in the presence of one who is stronger than me. Psalm 121 is one of my favorite passages to remind me that God is never far. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven earth.
Psalm 121 (NIV)
I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from?
He will not let your foot slip – he who watches you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you – the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day; nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.