Bearing Beastly Burdens Isn’t Bravery

Confusion and uncertainty are exhausting. Fear causes a physical response that saps energy like a faucet turned on and left running.

Until there’s nothing left.

I’m not talking about me. Our two new four-legged houseguests are struggling to figure out what’s going on.

Aspen is a two-year-old Lab with a lot of spunk and playfulness. He’s the forever puppy, the one who is ready to romp in an instant. Estes is a year-old Australian shepherd who is more mature and responsible than her counterpart.

She’s a herder. We’re not sure what he is.

Both are trying to figure out their new normal with us. Smaller space, no fenced-in backyard. A slippery staircase that they’ve had to figure out, sliding down the stairs as much as walking down them.

Their neediness is tangible. They stay close to people, and if they’re left in a room for too long alone, they show their displeasure with nonstop barking. Anytime the door opens, they’re ready to bolt. The thought of being confined is not at all appealing to either of them. The first day they were with us, Aspen escaped three times; Estes was only able to follow him once. Returning to the house didn’t appear to be what they would have chosen.

Their unfamiliar is uncomfortable.

The comedy is where Aspen chooses to nap. And he has to fight Estes for that space.

I’ve had a rebounder for a few years because bouncing is easier on my knees than walking or running. It has become the bed of choice for the dogs. When they’re on it, there is a calm that comes over them–unless one is trying to unseat the other–as if they’re in a secluded space, adrift in their own thoughts.

It’s not real. The calm is temporary; the other dog or one of the kids will unseat the current ruler of the rebounder. Chaos then becomes the norm as they try to figure out how to do life in this new house with more people and less room.

Their stress response? They pee in the house.

We’re all in need of a safe place right now where we can have a sense of quiet, calm rest. Where we can step away from the infringement of fear, frustration, and uncertainty and not be consumed by when this will end. When we can get back to work. When life as we know it will resume.

I’ve read a variety of self-help articles and positive-thinking blogs that try to help us refocus our flustered minds. The problem with that is it doesn’t offer a sustainable method of coping.

Fear creeps in when circumstances become harder. All the positive thoughts won’t keep fear at bay.

But God.

Jesus invited all who are tired, afraid and struggling to come to Him and allow Him to bear those burdens with us. To walk with Him and work with Him to learn what true grace and rest are about. It’s not a mindset nor merely meditation but a relationship. A chance to be with Someone who is greater than our fears. More powerful than this virus.

Take Him at His word. Give Him your worst.

You won’t need to find a place on the rebounder.


5 responses to “Bearing Beastly Burdens Isn’t Bravery”

  1. OMG. The eyes on that puppy dog… I feel like I am looking in a mirror – how I look at God so often these days as if to say, “Can’t you see how much I don’t like this?” Thanks for the reminder that He DOES see me, and He still cares and loves me, and He will meet all my needs. I needed that reminder today.


    1. Aren’t we all misplaced pups looking to be loved, cared for, and safe with the Master? This guy, with all his energy and the longest tongue I’ve ever seen, is such is still so needy. Like me. Like us. Love you, friend. And miss seeing you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, Dayle! But God. Yes, we feel lost – and even small and insignificat amidst all this. But his eye is always on the sparrow!


    1. And there’s never a time when being a sparrow is so special! Thanks, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

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