My dog has taught me more than a few things about my relationship with God. Recently, a verse in the Psalms reminded me of another lesson.
Rudy had been found as a stray when we adopted him. There’s no way of knowing his background, but two trainers I worked with said some of his behaviors were consistent with past abuse. He’s the only dog I’ve ever known who doesn’t get excited at the word, “Walk.” In those first six months, I was lucky if he made it to the end of the driveway before sitting down and refusing to go any further.
One trainer got him walking, and his advice to me was to quit putting food in Rudy’s bowl for a while. Instead, I was to feed him by hand. I could feed him while he walked with me, while we played together, or while sitting quietly. But every piece of food he received was to come from my hand. “He needs to learn that everything good comes from you.”
That trainer’s words came to mind when I read Psalm 16:2, “I said to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.'” James 1:17 agrees that “every good and perfect gift comes from above.” How often am I fearful of the future, afraid that God will lead me down a path I don’t want to travel, where something might hurt me? Like Rudy, I need to learn that everything good comes from my Master. Yes, there will be scary times and some experiences are likely to hurt. But just like I would never leave Rudy to face those things alone, neither will my Lord allow me to walk the valleys, even under the shadow of death, without Him by my side. I can trust Him in spite of my fears, because everything good comes from Him.