Sunday, March 6, 2011

Believe it or not, Max is one heck of a sheep dog. I mean cow dog. I mean. . .

Okay, let me explain. Our neighbors have several cows, and one very large, very mean, very intimidating bull. Every now and then one of the cows manages to jump the cattle guard and winds up happily munching on my grass and eating my landscaping. Seeing one of them destroying a crepe myrtle, I rushed outside, arms waving to shoo it back across the cattle guard into the pasture. I hadn’t gotten far since the cow was a lot faster than me, when suddenly, a brown blur that slightly resembled my dog went rocketing past.

“Ma—” I didn’t get anything else out. Max started barking, weaving back and forth until he herded the cow close enough to the gate to get it to jump across.

“Wow,” I said, huffing, my hands on my knees. “Max, come here.”

Max immediately quit chasing the cow and ran back to me, his tongue hanging out the side of his mouth.

“Good boy, Max!” I said, rubbing his sides enthusiastically to show him I approved. Problem was he took that as a sign. Seconds later, he shot off into the pasture, straight for the bull’s pen.

“Max, no!” I shouted. Too late. Max once again maneuvered back and forth, barking at the bull, snapping and biting until that huge, black animal lumbered off toward the barn. I blinked, unable to believe my eyes. Undaunted by the size of the bull, my tiny, eight pound dog had somehow managed to get that thing moving, and he ran back to me, tail wagging waiting for his praise.

Which got me to thinking.

Many times, we put off doing what God wants us to do because we are intimidated by the size of the task. Daunted by what we view as an impossible obstacle, we decide it’s better not to try and we slink to our corners, ashamed to be doing nothing for God, but too afraid to step out in faith.

Maybe if our desire was simply to please God, we’d find the courage we need to tackle the job, no matter the size, and maybe we’d feel empowered, emboldened. . .everything that God said a child of His should be.

Exodus 4:1-17 (New International Version)

Signs for Moses

1 Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you’?”

2 Then the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?”

“A staff,” he replied.

3 The LORD said, “Throw it on the ground.”

Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. 4 Then the LORD said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. 5 “This,” said the LORD, “is so that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”

6 Then the LORD said, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, the skin was leprous[a]—it had become as white as snow.

7 “Now put it back into your cloak,” he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.

8 Then the LORD said, “If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first sign, they may believe the second. 9 But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground.”

10 Moses said to the LORD, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

11 The LORD said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the LORD? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

13 But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”

14 Then the LORD’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. 15 You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. 16 He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. 17 But take this staff in your hand so you can perform the signs with it.”


  1. Elizabeth, I love the visual I had in my mind of your little dog bravely chasing that cow and bull. I want that kind of confidence.
    Many times the Lord has taken me to verse 12 concerning my writing. He is telling me to go and He will help me speak through my writing. So with fear and trembling I continue.

  2. Amen, Diane! Fear and trembling...two things writers struggle with daily.


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