Not too many evenings ago, our old miniature dachshund went to sleep on her back while cradled in my wife’s arms. The dog was totally relaxed, in a posture that communicated her complete trust that she was safe, even in so vulnerable a position. It was a confidence gained in over 16 years of tender care received from us.

Experience with a surpassingly tender God enables believers to give themselves over as utterly and confidently to the Creator as our dog did to my wife. “… I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother,” said the psalmist (131:2). And “I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety” (Psalm 4:8).

What would the Church be like if its leaders trusted God that way and became vulnerable and open? I like what Tim Keel, pastor of Jacob’s Well, has to say: “In order to be creative we need to learn to trust God more—or differently. We must believe that what we are doing is not so much dependent on us as it is on God. In order to see God at work, we have to reposture ourselves. We cannot see God at work in his creation when we are crouched defensively behind a carefully constructed wall. When we trust that God is out ahead of us and seek out his life in and around and outside our walls, we engage with freedom and passion the creative possibilities that arise as God engages his creation for his purposes. But mostly what we do is strive to catch up and join him….What if we developed a posture of trust that helped us move from defensiveness to creativity? (Intuitive Leadership: 246, 247; emphasis in the original).

Our old dog didn’t have to learn a new trick to trust us. That’s simply how she’s always lived. So she could totally relax.

Are we ready to fall into the arms of God and let go? Young pup or old dog, it’s not too late.

© 2008 by Tom Cheatham

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