Our lovable lab-mix is scared of everything: thunder, robot dog toys, brooms, helium balloons, and especially hula hoops.

The other night, a dish was dropped in the kitchen and he cowered in the other room. He was scared. I’m sure he could imagine all types of deadly dangers lurking just in the next room. Usually, when I exit the bedroom he pushes his way to walk through the door, but not this time. This time, he was more than content to let me go through the door first. He needed a leader to protect him, and he sought that from me.

Psalms 23:4

Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

Last fall was difficult. I was scared. We had our first encounter with having a sick child. The illness was unusual, and the doctors couldn’t give us a real prognosis. My mind worried about my child’s future dreams and their daily comfort. I cried to God in my deep valley. I prayed and hoped and prayed and watched and prayed. Out of a dream, I heard the answer. “I hear you.” It took a while for things to change, but I could make it knowing that God had heard me. The leader of my life was in charge, and His staff and rod are in his hand to clear the path and get rid of anything that lurks nearby. Just knowing Who was leading me and that He was ready for what came brought me comfort.

The long-term prognosis looks good. My empathy level is different, my heart is different, and I am ever more grateful for things that I may have once taken for granted. To God be the glory.

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