I have an eight year old Australian Shepard, who undisputedly, is the smartest dog I know. When we purchased “Janie” all those years ago from a local breeder, it was because my daughters had been begging for a dog for a couple of years. I finally relented, but considered that if I was to get a dog, I wanted a breed that was smart and would obey me! So, I did lots of research and the general consensus of everything I read, stated that Aussie’s were one of the smartest dogs around.
After we picked Janie out of the litter and brought her home, the long, arduous task began of training this cute, furry puppy. Guess who that task fell upon – you guessed it…… ME! Although my girls tried their hardest to train and build relationship with their new family member, I noticed that little Janie followed me around the most and looked to me for all of her needs. After all, I was the one feeding her, bathing her, cleaning her and buying her all those fun toys! Therefore, I had officially become her new master!
Over the years, I have worked tirelessly in order to train Janie to be an obedient dog. The main reason I was so concerned over this fact was that if I could get her to obey my voice instantly, I knew it would keep her safe when we were outside walking or jogging – something Australian Shepherds LOVE to do! Since Aussie’s have lots of energy, sweet Janie needed to be walked every day. The dangerous element of this would be is that Janie continually pulled herself out of her collar and leash to go chase cars, squirrels or little kids on bikes. It took months, and months to break this very, bad habit.
Over the years, I have slowly weaned Janie off of her leash and now we can go anywhere and she will follow my commands by voice. Over the past 3 years or so, as Janie has matured, and when we go for a walk, she will stay in step with me and keep pace without me having to guide her on a leash. I trust her to listen to my voice and obey my commands. After all, most of my commands are given to protect her and keep her safe. I love her dearly and want to make sure she is protected and out of harms way.
Lately, I have noticed that as we are going on our walks, she is constantly looking up at my face. Ready and waiting for me to guide her. If she gets ahead of me, she will continually turn, pause, study my face and seem to wait on me so she doesn’t get too far ahead. I have also noticed that I can communicate with her without using my voice. I can look at her a certain way, tilt my head in the direction of a turn or snap my fingers, and she will know which direction to head in. As our relationship has grown over the last 8 years, we know one another, and trust one another. I trust her to listen, watch and wait for me and she trusts me to guide her in the correct direction of our daily walk. It brings me great pleasure to know that Janie has developed a wonderful habit of studying my face in order to be told what direction to move in.
One day, before our daily walk, I was reading Psalm 32, and I stopped short when I read verse 8. In the previous verses, David had been pouring out his heart to God and then you see at the close of verse 7 the word, SELAH. The word selah in Hebrew means to pause and/or meditate. So, as David is pausing and meditating on what he has just said, God enters the conversation and says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye”. I slowed down and read this over and over many times until these words got down deep inside me. My first response was, yes God, I want you to guide ME with Your eye! And then my next thought was, how interesting and peculiar that God is able to guide His children with His very own eye – how does this work?
As I meditated on these verses over the days and weeks, one day it dawned on me! Just as I am able to guide my furry, four-legged companion, Janie, with my eye and facial expressions, our Heavenly Father does the same for us. The important part to understand in all of this is relationship. Just as Janie and I have spent hours and hours together over the last 8 years, developing a close relationship, we must do the same with our Father God. The more time we spend with God, studying His face, His nature, we know who He is and we learn to trust Him explicitly. He is then able to guide us with His eye and move us in the direction we are go. He loves to do this, in order to keep us safe and out of harms way.
My relationship with Janie has actually taught me a lot of great life’s lessons. This one has been one of my favorites thus far. The time I spent pouring into my relationship with Janie over the years has produced a beautiful connection between us. We have a mutual understanding between us and she is completely devoted to pleasing me in all things. I really believe that is the main reason why she studies my face, waiting for my eye to guide her. She wants to please me because she loves me and trusts me. She wants to do my will. I am her master and she knows that I only have her best interest at heart.
I encourage you to read all of Psalm 32. In the passage after verse 8, God exhorts us as His children to NOT be like the horse or the mule, who have no understanding; for they must be harnessed with bit and bridle, lest they will not come near. God desires us to come near unto Him. He wants to instruct us and guide us but, he is only able to do this to the degree we submit to Him and know Him. When we spend time reading and treasuring His precious word daily, we become so familiar with His ways and thoughts. It is then, that we can actually begin to feel His eye upon us, guiding us and moving us in His perfect will.
Study His face my friends, gaze into His beautiful eyes and allow Him to teach you. For in Him are all things beautiful and He is full of light! Your path will never be darkened and you cannot stumble, for He will illuminate your path with the radiance of His glorious face. His eye is ever on you!