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Let’s Run Away!

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Gwen Smith

March 8, 2013

Blog, Devotions, Temptation

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Steeler Smith

It was a windy winter day. Our three dogs needed to stretch their legs and get a bit of outside playtime, so I let them out to roam freely in our fenced-in back yard. An hour later, my husband asked me where the dogs were.

“Out back,” I replied.

“Honey, the wind blew that gate wide open and only Rocky is on the deck! How long ago did you let them out?” He asked.

“An hour ago!” I exclaimed, as feelings of unease crept into my heart.

Grabbing our jackets and our shoes, Brad and I bolted outside and began to scour the neighborhood looking for our two runaway dogs.

“Roman! Steeler! Come!” We yelled endlessly into the biting wind.

Roman

After covering several blocks of our neighborhood, having seen no traces of our dogs, I ran home to get my car. While Brad continued to search on foot, I began to drive around and call out for Roman and Steeler from my car. My stomach was in knots, my heart was gripped with ache, and my mind swirled with longing and prayers for our very-much-loved pets to come home. Please, be safe doggies! Please, Lord, help us find our dogs.

We searched and searched. No dogs.

Our phone number is on their I.D. tags! I thought. Maybe someone saw them wandering and took them into their home to call us.

I drove home quickly to check our voicemail. No voicemail.

I decided to stay by the phone in case someone called. Brad continued to search by driving through our development and the surrounding neighborhoods. After a long while, he returned… without Roman and Steeler. We were crushed. Though we had been praying for the Lord to help us find our dogs the whole time, with heavy hearts we prayed some more.

And we waited.

More than three long hours after the dogs had run away, our phone rang. Hope sprang to my heart as I heard the question from the other end of the line, “Do you have two missing dogs?”

“Yes, ma’am! Their names are Roman and Steeler! We’ve looked everywhere for them! Are they with you?”

“Yes they are. I saw them playing outside by the street and thought that they must belong to somebody, so I called them over. They ran right to me and I’ve got them in my house. They are both a good bit dirty and a little bit scared, and the small one is limping slightly… but they are safe,” she said.

The skies parted and angels appeared in the clouds singing, “Hallelujah!” as I jumped up to grab a pen to write down her address. They were safe! Thank You, Lord!

Steeler

Roman and Steeler had wandered over a mile away from our home.

Over a mile!

We scooped them up from the kind woman’s house as fast as we could and rejoiced in their homecoming. They needed to be cleaned, cared for, and held. And that’s exactly what we did: cleaned them, cared for them and held them. Oh, how we held them! And as I spoke with gentle, reassuring words to my small, limping dog it wasn’t lost on me… the parallels between them and me. Between them and all of us wanderers.

God has established boundaries in His Word. They are beautiful boundaries surrounding wide-open spaces of His blessing, purposed to bring Him glory, allowing us to thrive in life and to keep us safe from harm. Yet we wander. Oh, how we wander… through so many different gates of temptation.

What is your open gate of temptation? Is it worry, fear, or doubt? Is it food, alcohol, shopping, money, or a good-looking guy who needs to be off your radar? Everybody faces temptations, and while being tempted isn’t a sin, giving into temptation is. Jesus himself faced temptation and He demonstrated that we are to ask God for help. “And don’t let us yield to temptation.” (Matthew 6:13, NLT)

Promise of Deliverance

What should we do when we face temptation? We should call out to God. He promises to give us a way out of any temptation. No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. 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 stand up under it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Because he himself (Jesus) suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:18)

The wind had blown hard on the day of our doggie drama. Our two furry friends had been allured by the temptations of an open gate. They gave in – disregarding the boundaries that had been established for their safety and wellbeing – and ventured out into dangerous territory where cars wisped by and other dangers loomed. Thankfully, they made it home safe. We are fully aware that the outcome of their rebellion could’ve ended horribly.

Friend, we need to be on high alert. Gates are going to fly open. Temptations are going to come and we need to be ready to run from them. God will give us the strength to resist each one – if we will only ask for His help.

SO… Let’s run away today! Not from the fence of God’s protection, but rather from the gate of temptation.

Let’s run away from any gate that flies open. And let’s pray that the Lord will keep us from yielding to temptation.

Smith dogs

Dear Lord, Please forgive me for the times that I’ve wandered from Your plan for me and given into temptation. Teach me Your ways. Lead me to make choices that bring You glory and that allow me to experience the life You intended for me to live. In Jesus’s name, amen.

 

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RESPONSE TIME: Leave a comment below answering: What are your open gates of temptation? What boundaries have you set in the past? What boundaries need to be set today?

Can’t wait to read your comments and take the conversation deeper. Thanks for doing life with me!

Gwen

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About Gwen Smith


Gwen Smith

I am an unashamed, imperfect worshiper of Jesus Christ. I cling to His goodness to cover my mess and purpose my days to live out the hope of the Gospel. It is my joy and passion to inspire women to live fully in grace and truth. I write books, devotions and songs. I speak. I sing. I worship. I post, pin and tweet. I am intensely in love with the Word of God and believe, wholeheartedly, that the Bible is divinely inspired truth.

 

32 responses to “Let’s Run Away!”

  1. Robin says:

    Thank you for sharing what God puts on your heart. As I write this I’m feeling overwhelmed by the empty nest syndrome as both my kids just left to go back to college over 3 hours away. I am being tempted with jealousy and envy. It will be coming up on three years that I have been divorced from an almost 25 year marriage. I have forgiven my ex but it’s so easy to take it all back and not let God be in control. He has been married twice this year and has just bought her a new car, new house in the keeping way over the Jones addition, and new furniture to fill it up. Asked the kids to help move them in and paint. I have not really dated waiting on the man God is preparing for me and as God prepares me for him. God is my groom, my father and the one to feel this empty heart. I need to move on and not think about if the ex is happy etc. because I want to be truly happy. I’m so sorry I’m having a pity party but it’s better than calling a friend to burden them when I need to be calling on God. I have verses hanging in different places in my home and I know I’m a wonderful gift from God and He truly does have great plans for me. I just need to build a bridge and get over the fact I have to move on and he will not ever come back. I’ve prayed so hard for restoration. I’m sorry I’ve rambled on I’m so ready to be truly happy and then for him without being resentful, jealous, envy and so that is my temptation. I understand so much why God hates divorce and so do I. I’ve got to go turn my eyes on His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow weary in the light of His glory and grace. Blessings!

  2. Laura says:

    Thank you for your story that so simply illustrated to me how the Lord’s boundaries are meant to protect us and keep us safe not diminish or limit. It’s a visual I will remember the next time temptation opens a gate of fear or lack. Next time, and there will be a next time, rather than running for the open gate I’ll be running toward the open arms of our Lord.

    Many blessing

  3. B Belle Clagett says:

    Well, my regular daily devotional had not yet been posted for today, so I came over to you, in Crosswalk. Yes, yours definitely spoke to me! Last night, before going to bed, my husband and I threw our cigarettes into the wood stove. How great is God to lead me directly to your words of wisdom and encouragement first thing this morning! Thank you so much, and God bless you!

  4. Maureen says:

    You painted a story with your experience, a story that many of us could relate, both in the doggie and human correlation . Thanks, it hit home.

  5. Lee says:

    Hi Gwen. I loved this post. I had a dog get out the day after Christmas this last year and it didn’t end well. He was hit and killed by a car and not a day goes by that I don’t think of him and that God had a plan for him in heaven. I loved this post because it spoke to me of temptation and also about fear. Fear is of the devil and you can’t be afraid of bad things happening all the time. I am reminded to live life and to know that God has a fence of protection around me and my family at all times. I need to be reminded that I’m not driving this car called “life” but God is:) Thank you!

    • Gwen Smith says:

      Oh, Lee. I’m so sorry about your dog. That must’ve been awful. (Hugs) I’m glad to hear that the LORD brought the temptation of fear to the surface of your heart as you read the devotion. I encourage you to read and memorize 2 Timothy 1:7. Blessings!

  6. angel says:

    Hello,I really don’t even no where to begin…..ugh I have sooo muchgoing on in my life.
    Ill begin wit,I have6 children n 1 in heaven.
    A “husband” ,whom I “H”,can’t say the word,even though I say it to him @ x (times).
    Married 15 lonngggg yrssss.of which iv hated most all 15yrs.
    He has been abusive emotionaly n mentaly ,relationaly if that makes sense.
    I read gig almost daily for about 4mos.now,n he actualy does too
    I am most likely going to b moving out wit ” my”. children in april. I realy don’t want to move them from their home but he belives I should agree to counclin wit him,when the whole 15 yrs.I have pushed for that n he has but to no change.
    Could u plzzzz pray God shows n confirms to me what to do. I can’t take it anymore…I have been sik in my body for mos.now because of the stress.the drs. R sain thers nothin wrong wit me..but I no what’s goin on with me. Plz pray God does a miracle bcause that’s what it will take
    U r such an inspirin women n I want so much to be like u have what u have in ur walk wit God n ur marriage.
    Most sincerly,angel.btw,I am born again,for about 23yrs .

    • Gwen Smith says:

      Hi, Angel. I’m sorry to hear about your marriage struggles. Let me pray for you: Dear Lord, You are mighty and full of loving compassion. We come to you and ask that you would wash us fresh in Your grace and strength today. Help us to seek You and walk in Your ways. Please help Angel with her marriage. She is sick and tired of being in a destructive environment. Help her to experience Your healing, hope, renewal, restoration and redemption. Pour out Your Spirit on her marriage and revive it from a place of broken darkness. Resurrect their love for one another with a diving, miraculous intervention, Father. Bring guidance to her heart as she makes decisions. Bind her to Your will. Nudge her in Your ways. Give her wisdom and gentleness as a mother, wife and friend. I ask this in Jesus’s name, amen.

  7. Tony says:

    Gwen, thank you for sharing. I too go through those periods of struggle, knowing all the right prayers and knowing His Word…yet…I still have worry and doubt. Finding that perfect peace, finding joy in the midst of the storm, is what all of us who believe strive for. Being reminded that HE is in control every day is silver and gold. Thank You for that gift my sister.

    • Gwen Smith says:

      So glad that the LORD brought that to your heart as you read the devo, Tony. 🙂 I encourage you to read and memorize Philippians 4:4-9. You can do it!! It will bless you big. 🙂

  8. Bonnie says:

    Thanks so much for this story. My heart was breaking as I read about you and our husband looking for your babies! And it rejoiced upon you receiving that phone call. But the story also reminded me of how many times I went through that gate of temptation. Too many times! And God always welcomed me back with His loving kindness. And this story is so timely for me. I am gong to start a new job, so who knows what kinds of gates of temptation will swing open in front of me. Lord give me strength and wisdom to not walk through those gates!.

  9. M says:

    such cute dogs, no wonder they are loved and cherished

  10. Karla says:

    Gwen, thank you for this story. This has happened to me before and I felt your pain and fear as you were searching for your pets! And thank you for Girlfriends in God….it has truly blessed my life. I am fairly new to GIG and I find that every day there is a little message for me in your ministry! I am going through some rough times right now and I thank you that you have helped bring God back into my life. God Bless You.

  11. Laura says:

    Gwen, your devotional story about your missing dogs hit home. We, too, have a dog–whom we love dearly. He’s a family member and as I read this, my heart just dropped feeling what you must have felt when you realized your dogs were gone. He’s getting older and I sometimes think about losing him to death and how painful it will be. Your devotion made a thought-provoking parallel of us and God. I’m grateful that He searched for me and found me 21 years ago. On the “roller coaster of life,” with all of it’s ups and downs, I thank him that as gates of temptation fly open I don’t have to run through them. I can and need to stay inside the fence, where I’m safe and covered by His protection. God bless you. (and your dogs! They’re very sweet and I’m so glad that woman found them and took them in for you).

  12. Bryn says:

    My temptations are hiding through sleep, procrastination, so I guess self indulgence, controlling, which can easily lead to anger, and food. I seem to self sabotage myself by rebelling against doing the best for myself and family after having been doing better for awhile on a good routine. Yes, I can see those gates more clearly now…they are all connected to selfishness and disbelief. Also, not seeing or believing how much I am loved.

    • Gwen Smith says:

      Bryn, Thanks for your honesty, friend. It is so good to recognize where we need to grow and be aware of the gates we need to run from. Let me pray for you: Dear Lord, Please help Bryn to see herself as You see her. Allow her to experience Your healing, restoring, perfect love as she opens her heart to knowing You more. Give her grace and strength to love herself and her family with dignity and excellence. Thank You, Father, that with Christ we can do all things. We ask for all of this to bring glory to Your name. Amen.

  13. So your Cavalier (we have a tri-color Cav) caught my eye on my FB feed this morning so I immediately had to pop over to your story. Wonderful story (so glad for the rescue) and exactly what I needed to hear today. I went thru a bit of a heartache recently and have felt disconnected from God. But it’s a gate – I ran thru the gate to roam on my own. God is searching for me but I am wondering – looking for various worldly things to heal my heart & fill my soul But only God can do that. I must stop roaming, let myself be found and return to the safety of God’s yard. Thank you for your wonderful ministry and may God continue to rain his blessings upon you and onto all those around you.

    • Gwen Smith says:

      How cool that our dogs could be the connection point to the LORD stirring your heart today, Christina! Yep. It’s time to come back… and here’s the good news: our Father is running toward you with open arms. His grace is calling out to you and is ready to give you a fresh start. Stop roaming, new friend. Safety and healing await you. Trust Him. Trust His love.

      … and come on back to visit soon! 🙂

      Blessings.

  14. Femininity Revisited says:

    Hi Gwen! I am an avid reader of the GiG devotions. I was halfway through your riveting doggie drama when my eyes filled with tears. Oh yeah…. I’ve done that wandering myself from my Shepherd. Thank you so much for your beautiful devotion and blog. (I’m glad your boys were okay!!!)

  15. Michelle Luscombe says:

    What a great story! I”m so happy it ended well in your family. I have a similar story. Our black lab, Heidi wandered away during a rain storm. We did the same kinds of things scouring the acres around us. We said so many prayers and cried. I called the local vet clinics, humane society etc. Finally, a week later we received a call from a vet clinic 12mi away. A lady called in saying a black lab with only a vet tag wandered to her home. She kept her over night in her house, she was wet, cold and sad. We knew it was her, because she had been hit by a car previously and the vet had to crop her tail. My husband went 10 mi to the wonderful ladies’ house to pick up our dear Heidi. What an amazing answer to prayer. She ‘knew’ her boundaries, but lost her way in the storm. I still think that maybe she caved to the temptation of getting in someone’s car with them and they dropped her off. That is a long way for an older lab to run. I am just glad that God protected her. She died peacefully a few years ago at age 15! We miss her, but what great memories.

  16. Lynne Childress says:

    This is beautiful. Worry, fear, and the desire to speak without asking for the Lord’s guidance are my temptations. But He has something so much better for me. SO much better. Thanks for the reminder. And your doggies are SO cute.

  17. Michelle says:

    Anxiety, worry, fear are my open gates 🙁 I walk through them often, Lord, PLEASE Lead me away from the open gates and safe into your arms!

  18. Suzy says:

    Facing stressful times here in a situation that is out of our control. I love your devotions. God always has a little nugget for me buried in your words. Thankyou Girlfriends in God! You truly are friends.

  19. Tanya says:

    What a beautiful illustration and sooooo true!!!! Thanks for sharing!!!! Wonder if Rocky felt like the prodigal son’s brother who stayed home and stayed faithful?
    Food for thought:)

  20. Maya says:

    And let’s remember Rocky who didn’t give in to the temptation:) I love this story and the analogy. I may share with my children. In fact I will. Be blessed

  21. Timothy says:

    Yes its a surely power packed devotionals that are very encouraging and healing to my life.
    Goodwork God bless you.

  22. Nyarai Jane says:

    Hi Gwen

    Thank you for that article and for Girlfriends in God in general. I read these devotions every week day at work. The Lord speaks to me through you guys. At first it just seemed like coincidence but as i read more and more He has a message for me everyday. It has saved my marriage and my sanity and my morals and most importantly got me nearer to God.You are doing great work. May the Lord bless you and the work you are doing. Thank you sooooo much.

    Much love

    Nyarai

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