2017-08-03 / Opinions

Old crows and yapping little dogs are only nuisances; don’t be discouraged

By ROGER ALFORD
columnist

A man and wife were walking along a country lane when a crow, flying high overhead, dropped a messy present on the woman’s shoulder.

“Ewww,” she screeched. “Get some toilet paper or something.”

“What for?” the husband asked. “That crow must be a half mile away by now.”

There are times in all our lives when we feel like even the birds are conspiring against us, when things just aren’t going well. In such times, we need to remind ourselves that God is on our side. King David, who faced all sorts of life-threatening situations, often took courage in that fact.

“The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom should I be afraid?” he wrote in Psalm 27:1. “Though an army deploys against me, my heart is not afraid; though a war breaks out around me, still I am confident (Psalm 27:3-4).

King David realized that he was a child of God, and that provided him with a strong sense of security, no matter what he was facing.

The Bible provides great encouragement to us when we feel overwhelmed, when we’re caught up in life’s distractions. One of my favorite church hymns, “A Child of the King,” reminds us that we have a Heavenly Father to strengthen us against whatever comes our way, because, as the lyrics point out, “With Jesus my Savior, I’m a child of the King.”

Harriett Buell, a native of New York state, wrote those words one Sunday in the late 1800s while walking home from church, no doubt feeling safe and secure in her Heavenly Father’s watchful care. A music teacher, John Sumner, saw the words and set them to music. The story goes that Buell was delighted when she heard her words being sung in an evening worship service in Manlius, N.Y.

How those words have lifted the spirits of so many Christians facing difficult circumstances over the years, knowing that the All-Powerful Creator, the God who made all that exists, is our loving Father. “If God for be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). There’s the story about the big, strong, broad-shouldered coonhound that was walking home when a tiny little house dog came yapping and growling at him. That big hound could have snapped the smaller dog in half with just one bite, but he didn’t. Instead, he just kept right on walking toward home, paying no attention to the noisy little creature. Oh, if we all could be more like that coonhound, focusing on our journey home, rather than the little nuisances we encounter along the way.

The great enemy of mankind wants us to focus on the “little yapping dogs” of this world and, thereby, divert our attention from our Christian journey. Oh, there’ll be distractions along the way. Old crows might even drop unwelcomed bombs of one sort or another on us, but we are not to be discouraged.

“So, do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10).

(Roger Alford offers words of encouragement to residents of America’s heartland. Reach him at rogeralford1@gmail.com.)

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