Tag Archives: guide dog

STRAIGHTENING THE CURVES OF LIFE

STRAIGHTENING THE CURVES OF LIFE

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6 NkJV

Do you continually feel your life is taking detours? Do roadblocks halt your journey? Perhaps, you are steering off course.

I cannot walk a straight line. Some blind folks tend to veer. I am a veerer. I can walk on the left side of the street until I reach an intersection. After I cross Fifth Street, I find myself on the right side of the street, instead of the left side, where I wanted to be. Not only did I cross Fifth Street, but I veered over to the opposite side.

This is dangerous because a car could easily hit me.

Now that I walk with Iva, my guide dog, she keeps me on a straight path.

Sometimes in life, we find ourselves in places we did not intend to go. However, God will direct our paths, just like Iva directs me.

There are three prerequisites to this promise. First, we must trust God. We need to firmly believe He has our best in mind (Jer. 29:11). We face life’s trials with confidence in God’s plan for us.

Our trust in the Lord must be complete. Notice the word “all” in our verse. It is a small word with a large meaning. We don’t pick and choose which areas of life we will trust God with. We trust Him in all things, and with all our heart. Our minds say we trust Him, but at times, our hearts tremble. That is not trusting God with all our heart.

Next, don’t lean on our understanding. Again, we don’t give God full reign in some areas of life, but try to handle certain parts on our own. We can never and will never do life better than God.

Acknowledge God. Every matter in life can find a solution in the Bible. God’s Word gives specific directions for marriage and raising children. It instructs us in our finances.

Another way God guides us is through prayer. Start praying about your predicament. Soon, God will speak. You will read a devotional and a Scripture will pop up as you hear the Holy Spirit whisper, “That is for you.”

For a second time, the little word “all” appears. As before, that means we take it all to Him.

Once we stop attempting to fix our problems on our own. When we have complete confidence in God. When we pray and wait for His answer before making a decision. When we do all of that … God will direct our paths.

“Direct our Paths” is “kata” in Greek, and it is translated “to make straight” according to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words. It also means “guide” in Luke 1:79.

We know God navigates our paths better than we can, but we need to be intentional about it. Our nature leans toward making decisions without first consulting our heavenly Father. It goes against the grain to forbid worry from occupying our thoughts. When we make faith and consulting a habit, we will have the assurance that we are on the right path, the path planned by God.

Lord, we trust You, but we need to trust You in all things. Help us do that. We give You total control of the paths we walk. Help us resist being a back-seat driver to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Proverbs 3.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Memorize todays’ focal verses. Place them in your Bible or around your home as a reminder to hand it all over to God.

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.

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GUIDE DOG TALES VOL 24

GUIDE DOG TALES VOL 24

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Snakes and skunks scare me, but I never feared bears until we started spending so much time in the Smokey Mountains in Gatlinburg. Bears are a common occurrence there. They remain harmless unless they smell food. Unless you are a dog. How would a bear react to iva? I did not want to find out.

During our three -day writing retreat and solo vacation, my fear was meeting a bear.

When we overslept one morning, I accredited the late wake-up call to God. He was keeping us away from the early morning bear. One had been spotted outside the night before.

We bounded down the hallway and out the door. Iva was her usual stubborn self, being particular about her potty spot. I heard someone on the hotel balcony behind me, but when I glanced back, they never said anything. A second “Psss…!”, but silence followed.

Then I heard, “Hey, lady”

I responded with a yes.

“There’s a bear!”

I shrieked, jumping from fear. The bear growled as Iva and I made it to the hotel door.

Another man asked if I saw the bear. “No, I’m blind!” I responded as we entered the safety of the hotel.

I stood there momentarily listening to what happened next. The balcony whisperers were shocked when the other man told them I was blind. They must have been trying to motion to me when they made noises, but I could not see them.

As I pulled out my phone to call my husband, a Bible verse popped up.

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4 NKJV

God kept us safe. My scream may have frightened the bear or perhaps God had sent an army of angels to surround us with swords drawn as in the incident with Elisha (2 Kings 6:15-17).

I felt rattled most of the day, but I had to take Iva out again. This time, I met a couple who had watched the entire incident from their fifth-floor balcony. Their love for black labs drew their attention to us several days earlier. They offered to walk with me, and so did a member of the hotel management team.

I spotted God’s fingerprints all over this frightening experience. This couple did not live far from our home. They were in Gatlinburg for the same Christian event we were there to attend. More similarities unraveled as we talked throughout the week.

Everyone seemed relieved when my husband arrived in town. Would that end our solo vacations for Iva and me? I called a few hotels downtown, but they could not offer me the beautiful mountain view. Then I heard reports about bears downtown. They are everywhere, but Iva and I are scheduled for three more weeks in our favorite spot next year. Part of that time we will be on our own again. I trust God, and He showed me He was all over this. I am carrying a whistle next year, just to warn the bear that Iva and I are accompanied by an army of angels.

Friend, we should avoid unnecessary risks, but we cannot journey through life in fear of what may happen. Be cautious, but be confident because God is in control.

Copyright 2017 Carolyn Dale Newell.