The other day I learned that not only is Beth Moore's first name Wanda, her granddog's name is Beckham. He also happens to be a golden retriever. Just like my own Beckham who happens to also answer to Beck, Doggie, and a slew of other names not the least of them being Bigdumbdope.
So about a half hour ago I was on the couch working on my material for this upcoming retreat (eight days, oh Lord have mercy on me!) when I saw Beck running around outside like a Bigdumbdope. The Rock Star is out there with a friend from the neighborhood so I didn't think much of it. A few moments later I glanced up again and realized that he was behaving very strangely. So I pondered whether he might have been stung by a bee.
He was flopping onto the ground and writhing around and rubbing his face into the grass and pawing at his nose and it was generally a strange sight to behold. I got to a stopping point and opened the back door. He came sprinting to me making this horrid gasping sound. I thought maybe he'd been stung in the throat. Saliva was flying out of his mouth with rapid speed. More rapid speed than normal, that is.
I felt around on his muzzle and he didn't seem to get any more agitated so I figured it was something inside of his mouth. Before I could pry it open he turned around a time or two, pawed at his face, made the weird gasp sound and ran away. "Come here!" I commanded. He obliged. As he returned I spotted a piece of a stick protruding from his lip. I opened his mouth a bit. Wood was caked around one of his teeth. I tried to pull it off but he gasped again, did the dance, and tried to run away. I held him firm, pulled his mouth opened and saw, all at once, the bigger problem. My Bigdumbdope of a dog had obviously been chewing on a stick and part of it was now wedged--very tightly--between the two opposite top teeth at the back of his mouth. It was like he was wearing a retainer to widen his bite. No amount of tongue thrusting on his part would remove it. No amount of pawing at it would make a difference since he couldn't get his paw into his mouth. It must have been hurting his teeth because he didn't seem to want my help.
I straddled him, hooked my finger over the stick, and yanked. Hard. After a few seconds of strenuous pulling--and gasping on the part of the dog--it popped loose. He looked at it incredulously and went about his day.
If he'd been a stray, or a member of a pack of wild canines, I have no idea how long that stick would have lived there, effecting his ability to eat, drink, and generally be merry. It was that stuck.
And instantly I thought of my walk with the Lord. Psalm 121:1-3 says, "I lift my eyes up to the hills--where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." But how often do I pretend that I can do it alone? How often do I have a stick wedged somewhere (Don't laugh.) with no possible way of removing it myself and I still don't turn to the Lord. How often do I rub my head all over the grass, gasping and panting and all it would take from my Savior is a simple procedure to get me back to normal?
My help comes from the Lord. Oh how I need to remember that...