Poppie, my Golden Retriever running buddy and I set out on our beloved trails for an afternoon run. I unleashed her and off she sped like a toddler set free on a playground or a butterfly just escaping her cocoon. She ran ahead of me, stopped and sniffed as I sprinted past her. She waited until I was just out of sight then chased after me and flew on past. She’d find something else to sniff and I’d pass her.

One particular time I ran past her and over a new bridge with boards placed a bit further apart than other bridges on the trail. Poppie caught up to the bridge took a few steps and stopped. I looked back and saw her trembling. She slowly turned away from the bridge to find another way to cross. I ran back across the bridge to her. I connected her to her leash without saying a word and turned her back toward the bridge. I was hoping she wouldn’t resist and she didn’t. I eased forward across the bridge walking right beside her and she focused on each step she took as we maneuvered across the bridge together. Once across I unleashed her and she tore off in glee.

I hadn’t spoken encouraging words to her, nor did I berate her for being scared. I merely held on to her leash as she crept across the bridge one step at a time.

I wondered why the simple act of being on a leash comforted her enough to be able to face the challenge of crossing the scary, wide-spaced boards of the bridge? Did she understand in her limited dog ability that I would catch her if she fell? That somehow she wouldn’t have to face the challenge alone? That her master had her back so she could focus on the task at hand?

Immediately I felt as if God was speaking to me as I was teetering on the possibility of trying something new at that point in my life that was scary and unknown. It is so easy to turn around and not even attempt it, to stay in the safe zone, to keep doing what I’ve done before. But I felt as if God was reminding me that He’s there for me, holding me on a short leash. He’ll catch me if I fall, He’ll redirect me if I’m on the wrong path, He’ll go through this unknown with me. My master has my back so I can focus on the task at hand and not dwell on the potential dangers and all the possibilities of things that can go wrong.

Do you feel the Lord calling you into the great unknown? Has He placed a challenge before you? Is He calling you to step out onto the water in faith? Do it, my friend! Trust Him to guide you across. Know that you aren’t navigating the road by yourself. He’s not berating you for being scared, nor is He coaxing you along. The choice is yours to make but know that He’s right there beside you every step of the way.

You can run, walk, creep, or crawl, but go for it my friend. Don’t miss what the Lord has in store for you!

If Poppie hadn’t mustered up the courage to cross the bridge with me, she would have missed the glorious part of the rest of the journey, or she may have muddied herself finding another way to the other side by herself. But, she must have known that it’s always best to walk beside the master, because her master has her back and wants the best for her. The Master wants what’s best for you, too. Always.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6

Is God leading you into a new adventure? Tell me about it below.