Oh, Brutus. That dog taught me so much about deepening my spiritual walk. That’s right, I said it – a dog, my spiritual walk. And you know what’s even funnier? That dog hated me.
Brutus was a rescue dog my husband had gotten in his bachelor years. He was big and scary-looking and when he barked, you were definately intimidated! But there was another side to Brutus that most people didn’t see – he was scared. Due to abuse & the rough life he lived before my husband adopted him, he was afraid of things he didn’t know. He was afraid to step on grass – after all, he had only felt concrete beneath his paws. He was afraid of loud noises & would startle easily. It was so precious how such an intimidating dog could be so skittish. And he was afraid to be anywhere without Dave. But my most favorite thing about Brutus was how he treated his “master”.
Dave was everything to that dog. No matter where Dave went, Brutus was right by his side, never leaving him. And even if Dave had to scold him, he never walked away from his master’s side. He sat at his feet and watched him intensely. He wouldn’t eat or drink unless Dave was there with him – he was afraid to be without him. After all, he had known pain and abuse and Brutus knew how good he had it now. His master had helped him to find peace and rest in the fact that he could trust in him. He finally had someone who loved him and he wasn’t going to give that up for anything. (Enter me and Dave dating and the hating me part).
One evening as I watched Brutus sit at Dave’s feet, I realized how much I so desperately wanted to need my Master as he does. Did I wait for my Master, patiently at His feet, for Him to provide for me? Was I looking to Him before my every step? And would I be content just at His feet while I waited for Him to lead me?
I, too, have known pain and abuse, leaving me afraid of the unknown. Could I put that behind me and trust in the fact that my Master knew what was best for me? Could I sit at His feet and love him – just love him? Would peace meet me there, at his feet, if I only just sit? For I know the darkness He has ripped me from and the door of love that my Master has opened up for me.
Years ago, as a new Christian, I took a bible study class on Martha and Mary. Many of you know that story in the bible, but have you really paid it mind? Jesus is whole-heartedly welcomed into Martha and Mary’s home. Martha (who was the very first Martha Stewart minus the prison time), has everything all planned out and is cooking and preparing away. Irritated that her sister, Mary, was just sitting at Jesus’s feet instead of helping with all the plans and preparing, she asks Jesus to tell Mary to help her. He responds, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better and that will not be taken from her.” (Luke 10:41) I can almost hear the tone in His voice – it’s one of sadness for Martha. He knows she is missing it. She’s missing the opportunity to just sit, sit at His feet and take Him all in. After all, it is at our Master’s feet where we truly find contentment, purpose, and peace.
Oh, peace. In our fast-paced world of shuttling loved ones, grocery shopping (again!), keeping our house in order (again!), work… all these things are needed, yes. But, spending hours redoing landscaping because the neighbors did theirs (we don’t want ours to look bad, right?), or creating a meal from scratch that takes three hours of your evening and all your energy, or volunteering for every event that comes your way (even though that leaves you tired and exhausted) – now these things aren’t bad things, but are they the best things? We live in a Pinterest world with a heavy heart to do, do, do! Who even has time to step back and evaluate one’s priorities?! Stress is adjoined to our hips and it’s become an element of everyday life.
But Jesus, our sweet Jesus, has shown us how to get that peace we so desperately crave. Only one thing is needed. Sitting at His feet. I believe our hearts truly ache for this – resting at our Master’s feet, waiting for Him to lead us right or left. It’s only in the quiet of His presence that we are able to make out those directions and rest in the peace of His authority.
Even though Brutus hated the fact that I took some of Dave’s attention, he taught me how to get trust restored following utter brokenness. His past would have been a good excuse to never trust again and do things his own way. But he chose to trust his master and ended up having great peace in his new life. And every minute he could get of every day, he reveled at sitting at his master’s feet.
Have you taken the time to just be still – to sit at your Master’s feet and wait for direction? In that moment, life will fade away and all that will remain will be peace.
Lord Jesus, I want to move when you move. My heart so desperately yearns to know of your peace, peace that surpasses all understanding. Help me to understand that all that is needed is sitting at your precious feet to change my heart towards you. This world is so fallen, Lord, and it’s so easy to get caught up in our to-do lists of utter unimportance. Only one thing is needed – You. I pray as sure as my heart beats, to show me YOU are my trustworthy Master who loves me more than I could even imagine. Even in my fear, even in my abuse, allow me to trust in YOU and know I am not forgotten. Help me to only fear life without You. Oh Jesus, break my heart for what breaks yours. Thank you for showing me the only way to know that is by sitting at your feet – your precious feet.
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3)