Wednesday, June 12, 2019


Our cat, Watson loves to be outside. I swear he is saying the word “Out!” over and over as he gazes up at me and then looks back at the sliding glass doors. I would love to let him roam free, but there is too much risk of being run over by cars, being shot or poisoned by those who aren’t fans of cats, or getting hopelessly lost in pursuit of a stray cat.

So, I bought a collar and a thin, lightweight plastic rope that gives him a 12-foot radius to roam, including a grassy patch so he can get his daily greens. Does Watson enjoy it? No! You would think I had a slipped a noose around his neck!

First, he throws himself down and rolls around on the concrete in a fit that resembles my kids’ temper tantrums. When that doesn’t work, he stretches the rope as taut as it will go and then yanks and tugs, trying to get the collar over his head. Even when he begrudgingly wears it, he continually tries to go beyond the boundaries of the rope.

If Watson would stop fighting the tether, he would realize he is free to watch bunnies and birds, smell the flowers, eat some grass, soak up the sunshine, and rest in the shade. But he sees the limitations as a cruel taskmaster spoiling all his fun. Temptations repeatedly pull at him.

Aren’t we the same when it comes to the boundaries God sets for us? Until we surrender our lives to Jesus and realize God’s will is the very best for us, His guidelines for life can seem awfully strict and confining. Even afterward, we face temptations to disobey:

Give in to greed: Why shouldn’t I keep the $50 bill I saw the guy in front of me drop?
Spread gossip: Did you hear that Barb saw Linda and her husband arguing in their car last evening? It looked pretty heated to Barb. I’m only telling you so you can pray for them.
Harbor a grudge: He never even offered to mow my grass when I had surgery five years ago! Why should I plow his driveway because he had a heart attack?

Like Watson and his tether, if we are willing to stop struggling against God and the boundaries set by His Word, we can find freedom. Proverbs 3:7 says, “Simply obey the Lord and refuse to do wrong.”

While our salvation is based completely on Christ's obedience and sacrifice, not our deeds or works, how much we struggle in life depends on whether or not we choose to rely on and obey God. “But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.” James 1:25

Being tethered by God is to be tethered by love. His way really is the best way to live.

Be encouraged!

©2019 Pamela D. Williams