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  • Writer's pictureJill Jarrell Newsome

Ducks and Dogs

I am blessed to be on a boat with my best friends. The boat was purchased out of state and is being brought back home. My husband, Mike, got to spend the first week and will join them again closer to home. Barbara and I came up to NY to get on for our week. We have a lot of locks to go through which were new to me. A lock is a device used for raising and lowering boats between stretches of water of different levels on river and canal waterways. Locks are used to make a river more easily navigable, or to allow a canal to cross land that is not level. On one of our first locks there were two ducks who were caught inside with our boat. We were down about thirty feet with the gates closed, on both ends. I was worried for them and wondered if they were scared. When the water started coming in from underneath they moved quickly and I wondered if they were panicked.

As I watched I thought this has probably happened to them many times. Why would I think they were panicked? Probably because I would have been. As soon as we rose to the top, the two ducks flew out to freedom. Unlike me they were patient. We all find ourselves in situations at times with no way out or so we think. But God told us He would always give us a way out! 1 Corinthians 10: 13, "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." There will always be temptation but God will always provide a way out.

We should be more like a dog. When a dog is being trained, a treat is placed on the floor near the dog, and the master says, 'No!' which the dog knows means that he must not touch it. Usually, the dog will take his eyes off the food because the temptation is too much. He does not want to disobey his master so he fixes his eyes on the master’s face. Always look to the Master’s face.

We may not always be able to escape the temptation but we will be able to withstand it with God's help. God may be strengthening us through this trial. James 1: 2-4, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

As I sat quietly and watched those ducks God reminded me how I feel overwhelmed at times. When I pondered this I realized, unlike the dog, I was not focusing on God. My temptation was trying to be in control. Trying to be in control is a sin that takes me away from God. God provides a way out of this temptation and others through His Word and through prayer.

Before his crucifixion, Jesus told the disciples that they should pray that they might not enter into temptation. This is why, in the Lord's prayer, we say, “Lead us not into temptation.” He wanted us to pray that we not give in to temptation but to ask Him to deliver us from evil. We are going to encounter temptation over and over and God will give us a way out over and over.

I am thankful to have learned more about locks than I thought. Who knew God would show me to be more like the ducks.


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