Author Archives: cnewell2014

Throwback Thursday: The Danger of Discouragement

 

THE DANGER OF DISCOURAGEMENT

 

And those who know Your name will put their trust in You;

For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.

Psalm 9:10 (NKJV)

It was one of those days. It started with a phone call to the doctor to check on my test results. It had been nine days, and somebody forgot to tell me that I had an UTI. The next phone call was to the bank, and the bank teller couldn’t even tell me why my balance was short – once again. It went on from there. With each discouraging blow, like an ax to a tree, I began falling into despair.

I started going through my twitter feed, and I found the above verse from Psalms. How could I let little discouragements and disappointments get me down? However, Satan is clever, and he knows how to get to us. Of course, He must have permission from God, like he did with Job (Job 1:10). God may allow the temptation, but Paul said, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape that you may be able to bear it.” (1 Cor. 10:13). That verse was my way of escape.

I failed to keep my eyes on God, and I focused on the discouragement. When we do that, we are not trusting God to handle things. We start feeling sad and frustrated, but God is faithful, even when we are not. I fail to whole heartedly trust Him, but He has never forsaken me. Then I realized why it had all happened – so I could write about it and lift you up.

Friend, lets remind one another that we shouldn’t let these little things steal our joy. We know His name, and we will put our trust in Him.

Copyright 2014 Carolyn Dale Newell.

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Guide Dog Tales Vol. 22

 

GUIDE DOG TALES VOL. 22

By Carolyn Dale Newell

You know that feeling you get when your face is about to meet the ground? Thankfully, I regained my balance quickly. Whose bright idea was it to plant trees in the middle of a sidewalk? Even sighted people trip over these sections where underground roots push up the concrete.

A guide dog doesn’t view small lifts like this as a step. We have walked through there countless times, but this would be the last time. Not the last time we walk it, but the last time it may cause me to fall.

I used my clicker and treats to teach Iva to stop at this point. We practiced several times before heading on with our leisurely walk around our little downtown. I try to provide Iva with a variety of routes.

We rested on a bench taking a water break. As I stood up, I told Iva our plan was to go to the Mexican restaurant for lunch with my husband. When we reached the corner, Iva did not go to the curb as usual, instead, she turned right, the direction of our destination. I was shocked because we have only walked there once before.

As we strolled along, Iva came to an abrupt stop, and she went no farther. Something partially blocked the sidewalk, but why wouldn’t she go around it? I reached out and discovered a piece of fence wire across our path. Undoubtedly, this was a construction site. We were forced to find a new route, and it included crossing a busy intersection without a traffic light.

Our patience rewarded us with a lull in traffic, allowing us to rush to the other side. Iva began pulling hard, not because she has a fondness for Mexican cuisine. Iva remembered the dog treat she devoured from the Amish Cupboard, next to the Mexican restaurant. When I instructed Iva to turn left, she momentarily hesitated as if to say, “No, this way, Mom! Remember we went this way before.”

After lunch, Iva chomped down her well-deserved bone.

We had safely encountered our first obstacle as a guide dog team. Knowing we can handle them is rewarding.

Life is filled with obstacles, Not the physical ones, but the difficult ones, like: diseases, addiction, depression, grief, finances, and heartache. We come face-to-face with them, giving us cause for despair.

We take the obstruction to God, but many times, He refuses to move it. Sometimes, God protects us using a blockade. If I had moved that fencing to get around it, we would have been hurt.

Christians forget God has our best interest in mind. Sometimes, a roadblock may be our safety net. We should rejoice in these detours of life, giving God thanks for being our shield.

Next, we allow God to guide us. Iva and I found a new route to the restaurant. This path was not easy because it involved a difficult crossing. We did it, and we will do it on our journey of life.

Perhaps you find yourself standing before a barricade today. Friend, our heavenly Father has a plan for you, and it may differ from your plan. Father knows best, so follow His lead. You may journey unchartered territory. Navigation may be difficult, but God is right by your side. He never leaves His children. He shows us the way, and we walk in it.

Lift up your chin. This side trip has benefits, although you may never know what God protects you from. Now you clinch the rewarding knowledge that obstacles don’t stop you. They just turn you around.

Copyright 2017 Carolyn Dale Newell.