The first time I came across the Gentle Leader, I was walking our dog, Ryder down by The Pearl, a local area here in San Antonio. There was a lady sitting on a bench with her Golden Retriever using this Gentle Leader leash. Her dog was so well-behaved and didn’t seem to pull. At the time, we were still using a harness on Ryder. While it gave us some control, he still felt like he was pulling. The idea behind this leash is to minimize pulling from the dog and allow for a more pleasant walk. The leash buckles around the neck (as a normal collar), then gentle slips over the nose with an adjustable loop. The only trick was getting your dog acclimated to the leash. Needless to say, after talking to the lady, I curious to try her leash on Ryder. So off to Amazon we went!
Fast forward a few months: My husband and I have been training to walk Ryder using the Gentle Leader leash. We still have our occasional moments of protest him; but for a good distance of the walk, he has been pretty cooperative.
This example seemed to resonate a little in my spirit …
How can this example be applied to my own life?
God leads and guides us in our own lives.
Just like the Gentle Leader, He equip us, prepares us, with what we need on a daily basis. In Psalm 23, David ponders how the Lord is like a shepherd. Before David became king, he was out taking care of his father’s sheep. Sheep, in general, are very dependent on their shepherd to take care of them and protect them from danger. David understood what it meant to trust God and depend on him for strength, even after his moments of struggling with him. Later in the New Testament, Jesus himself said “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11, ESV).
Our struggle only makes it difficult.
Good and upright is the Lord, therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his commandments.Psalm 25:8-10 ESV
The word humble jumps out to me here. I mean, it’s repeated in the same sentence! To be humble means to submit to authority: God’s authority.
Even today, Ryder is still adjusting to having the guide around his snoot. But I believe he will soon come to realize that struggling and pulling will only make the walk unpleasant. He will begin to relax more and more, depend on us to lead him and obey our commands.
How true is this for us when we humble ourselves, submit to God, and obey his commands?
It is just like us in our relationship with our Heavenly Father. We can either learn to listen and obey his commands or we can learn things the hard way in a struggle for control.We have nothing to worry about and nothing to fear when we know God is in control. Click To Tweet
Today, as we face the threat of COVID-19 and trying to live life as normal as we can … all while staying at home or standing six feet away. Okay, maybe life isn’t that normal right now. But, I would like to leave y’all with one of my favorite verses found in Isaiah, chapter 41 …
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.Isaiah 41:10 ESV
As well as, another verse found in Proverbs, chapter 3 …
When we submit to God and believe in what he did, that is sending his ONLY son to die for us, we gain access to the greatest gift of all. Click To Tweet
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.Proverbs 3:5-8 ESV
There is nothing like the gift of a cancelled debt we could never repay. Nothing like student loans or credit cards we can eventually pay off in months to years. But also the gift of knowing God himself, our Creator, and meeting him some day.
What a beautiful reminder during the week before Easter.
To God be the glory,
Looking for a way to stop your dog from pulling on walks?
Try out Gentle Leader for yourself.