I watched “Jack” tell his yellow lab, Buttercup, to wait. He then crossed the room and turned his back to her. “Sit.” “Stand.” “Down,” he said. His dog responded to each command.

My daughter and I enrolled our two standard poodles in obedience training. “Jack,” a fellow classmate is hearing-impaired. His dog is his partner. She’s on duty all day listening to and for “Jack.”

Our dogs’ practice a few minutes a week. The difference is obvious.IMG_3272

Training makes a difference but so does motivation. Our Cosette likes to please. She throws back her head in an open-mouthed smile and prances toward me when I call her name. Max looks at me sideways, close-mouthed, and weighs whether he wants to come or not. At night he often chooses the night scents over our calls. We now use a leash to take him out near bedtime. His stubbornness has limited his freedom and late night pleasures.

Watching “Jack” relate to Buttercup and the difference between my dogs reminds me of a Psalm.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;

I will guide you with My eye.

Do not be like the horse or like the mule,

Which have no understanding,

Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle,

Else they will not come near you.” Ps. 32:8-9 (NKJ)

Have you ever noticed how eyes communicate? In a drama, the camera lingers on the eyes. The windows of the soul communicate more through a meaningful glance than words.

With a twinkle in his eye and the lift of one brow, Daddy could make me laugh. Without a word, I knew immediately what amused him. God wants that closeness with His children.

So often we say we want God’s will for our lives. Yet, like Max and the mule, we ignore His signals. Our stubbornness saddens God and stifles His Spirit’s influence in us (Is. 63:10; Ephes. 4:30; 1 Thes. 5:19).

Like Buttercup, I want to be my Lord’s partner and fulfill my God-given purpose every day. I want to enhance not hinder God’s guidance in my life. I want to be so in tune that all He has to do is look in a direction (guide me with His eye) and I’m headed there. I don’t want to be like the mule.

Recently, on the way to class, I told Max he would stay home from now on if he didn’t start listening to me. He listened. He was second only to Buttercup that day in obedience.

Whatever our past pattern, we can change and become Christ’s partner.

God leads His children. We choose how—by a look or by a bit and bridle.

Question: Do you relate more to Buttercup, Cosette, or Max? Who do you want to be like?

Click here to comment.


Debbie Wilson

Deborah W. Wilson

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  1. Earle & Sara Finley

    Hi Debbie,

    We have been enjoying your wonderful thoughts all year long. Of couse you know that I am more like Buttercup, but Sara does not agree. Puzzles me! We pray that this has been a blessed year for you, Larry and all the family. Thank you for your investment in our family. It will be one of the many blessings for which we give thanks to the Lord this Thanksgiving,


    Earle & Sara

    • Debbie Wilson

      Earle, you make me chuckle! I have no comment on which of you is right! Thanks so much for your prayers. We give thanks for you both.

  2. Ann

    For sure I want to be like Buttercup but more often than I care to admit I am like Max. My biggest goal is to become more sensitive to His leading and to train myself to obey instantly. I’m working on it!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Me too, Ann. Thanks for sharing.

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