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The command was clear and firm… and it appeared to be just about killing her…

But she listened.  Perhaps it was a combination of her loyalty, her desire to please her master, and the fact that she ultimately knew that he would be faithful.  Even so, staying was nearly impossible.

She tried at first to contain her whimpers,  just barely murmuring them under her breath.  But the longer the wait, the louder they became.  And soon, she was wailing.  The white tip of her tail frantically swept the floor as her eyes darted back and forth between the rawhide that lay just a foot out of her reach and the master who had given the command.

Feeling more tortured with each passing second, she began to bob up and down like a buoy on the waves.  Yet, she stayed.  Not knowing why and seeing no purpose for the wait, she remained obedient…  Until finally, she heard him say, “Good girl.  Go get your bone.”

Teaching her to stay is different from teaching her to roll over.  It’s not some cutesy trick. It doesn’t win the affections of the crowd or even earn an additional reward.  The reward is already at hand, right under her nose.  All staying does is prolong the time before she can have it.

To an onlooker it may seem like a cruel and pointless taunt. But in reality, it’s a pivotal part of the owner/dog relationship.

Her submission reveals the depth of her trust for her master.  For in that moment, she has to choose between obeying the command, or satisfying her desire. A decision that will expose where her heart lies.  But she knows that he is good. He has loved her, cared for her, provided every need, and so it is his will she chooses above her own.

But it goes deeper than that.  As the dog learns to trust her master, she finds reward in being in his presence.  And the master sees her as faithful.

By choosing to stay even though the bone is within reach and there’d be time to snatch it before he could stop her, he knows she can be trusted on a journey.  These are the dogs who walk side by side with their owners, not under restraint, but as companions.  Such dogs earn the freedom to venture out and explore the world unleashed… happy to return at the sound of their master’s voice.

When God keeps us in a holding pattern, it’s easy to feel like a dog.  We whimper and wail.  We pant and beg.  We are anxious, humiliated, unable to comprehend. The wait is agonizing. Yet it is here that our trust is challenged and our relationship defined.

We say God is good.  We know He has loved us, cared for us, and provided our every need.  And in this moment we expose how much we really believe that.  Here all pretense is broken down as we discover both our true selves and who God really is.

So the question is this: While you wait on the Lord, are you fixating on the bone or the Master?

Photo credit: maclauren70 via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Guest post written by my daughter Cherie Garza

16 thoughts on “Stay

  1. Hi, What a well written story and truth. I’ve missed your writings. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to a visit this weekend at the wedding. Love, Joanne

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 2 people

  2. Gene, you are a good writer! I hung on every line. While I was reading this, I was also reminded of several truths taught in recent books I have read on submission to God and other authority figures as well. The parallels you wrote about are so in tune with those books. Thank you for the excellent reminder of the importance and value in submission in all things. God bless you. 🙂

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  3. Gene, Cherie … love this. I knew right away that you were talking about a dog. My mind went immediately to our German Shepherd we had for 13 blessed years. Oh, I miss her. And I got tickled remembering something else. We visited a friend once … he was having his dog show off all its tricks. He laid down a treat … “She’ll only get it when I say a certain word.” He says certain word. Dog gets treat. So my husband puts out a treat for the dog … instead of saying “the certain word,” he points his finger and makes a gunshot sound, and the dog grabs the treat. I nearly laughed myself silly. Awful of my husband … but funny. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, what a beautiful analogy for our relationship with our Father! I’m in a staying place right now, and sometimes it’s soooo hard to stay here. But you’re right, when we trust our good Father, we’re willing to trust Him and His timing. And the option to “go out and explore the world unleashed.”

    Such great insight!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pingback: Stay | Boxx Banter

  6. Eugene how beautiful this story that Cherie did . How to the point of what we stay for ,no mater how tempting the bone ,we trust in God and have the Faith that when God gives his comand ,we will be with him for ever .

    Liked by 1 person

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