Saturday, January 24, 2009

Keep Me On A Short Leash, Lord

"...you know that you have a Master in heaven."
Colossians 4:1

"He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young."
Isaiah 40:11

"But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."
Matthew 7:14

"Keep me on a short leash, Lord. Keep me on the narrow road. Carry me close to Your heart. Keep me abiding in You." This is a prayer of mine. And I mean with all of my heart it because I know it is the only way that leads me to life, His life. It's how His peace fills my heart. It's how He satisfies completely. It's also how He can bear fruit in me.
Yet, sometimes keeping me on a short leash and on the narrow road causes me to be lovingly poked by His mighty right Hand. Yesterday, I was reminded that He is honoring my prayers to keep me on a short leash. You see, in haste and without thinking, I broke a rule...just a smidgen bit...but I broke it nonetheless. And as soon as I did, there was "the boss" watching me. Literally. Thankfully, he handled it with truth, grace and even very good humor. I was immediately convicted, truly remorseful and so very thankful for his grace. I was also thankful for God's faithfulness to not let me get away with breaking a rule, not even a smidgen bit.
I am so grateful I have people in my life who keep me accountable and who can speak the truth in love to me. My husband, who is my covering, keeps me accountable. Honoring God is the desire of our hearts, as individuals, as a married couple and for our family. While we often fall short, we don't want to lower the bar on the Biblical standard of honoring God. By His strength and grace alone can we honor Him.
I am so thankful for pastors and a body of believers at our church who lovingly keep their eyes on us and pray for us.
I cherish precious girlfriends and sisters in Christ who keep me accountable and articulate things so well to me. I am thankful for friends who keep my face towards Him and my feet to the fire. Girlfriends who also do not want to lower the bar. Girlfriends who desire to honor Him. Committed, steadfast girlfriends who allow me to grow and who, without judgment, graciously pick me up, dust me off and encourage me when I have failed.
Often it is painful being on a short leash and staying on the narrow road. But when I wander, I want that leash gently pulled and the fences on the narrow road fortified so I don't step into danger. Often times, He uses people around us to be our fortified fences. I am thankful for those He uses.
Yesterday, He reminded me of my "Keep me on a short leash, Lord" prayer. And I knew my gentle Shepherd was holding me His loving arms and holding me close to His heart. My Master was keeping His promise to me. This puppy is content in His care.
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing." John 15:5

3 comments:

Jill - Blessed Mom of 8 said...

AMEN!

Beautiful prayer!

Beautiful and loving God!

Thanks for sharing!

Love and hugs,
Jill

Chatty Kelly said...

Nosy me is so wondering what you did - but that is really irrelevant. What is important is the loving God who pulled you back. So glad.

Joyful said...

Oh Sharon, how I love this prayer. Not only does a "short lease" bring correction quickly, but it also keeps you close.

I remember, long before I had children, I was out shopping with a girlfriend of mine who had a 3 year old. For lack of a better description, he was attached to one of those childhood protection restraints that joins the child's wrist to the mother's wrist with a 'leash'. She wanted to go into a store quickly, so transferred her end to my wrist for a few minutes while we waited in the Mall. He was having fun with me I'm sure, as he travelled under signs too small for me, around benches, over chairs etc... I was behind him like a game of "Follow the leader", crawling under signs, climbing over benches etc....

When his Mom reappeared she had a good laugh as she said, Joy - you just needed to unstrap the cord at your wrist. It never crossed my mind! I was connected to this little boy - on a long leash I might add - and he was seeing how far he could get away from me and still stay connected.

A short leash is soooooo much better. Within hands reach. Close enough for the cautioned discipline and quick warning, but also close enough for the hug.

Joining you in prayer to be kept on a short leash,
Joy