Years ago our now-deceased dog, Chessy, used to love going into our dingy, cold basement during summer heat waves to plop down on the concrete floor to find respite from the heat and humidity.
As she aged, I began to notice that she couldn't make it back up the steep stairs without help from one of us holding on to her back end while she hobbled up from the cellar.
Eventually, even our assistance wasn't enough. If Chessy descended even one more time, I was uncertain she would ever ascend again.
So, I simply closed the door to the basement. Her days of going down there were over.
Chessy had no idea why I did this.
She would stand facing the door to the basement for hours at a time, waiting for me to open it for her so she could find relief from the heat. She would vascilate between staring at the door and staring at me, as if to say, "Why won't you open this for me?"
I would find myself saying to her: "Chessy, I know you want to go to the basement and I know you believe it is the best place for you to go. But if I open this door and let you do what you want to do, you may die down there. So, because I love you, because I want your very best, and because I know things you can never know, I am not going to open that door for you ever again. I am sorry."
Chessy had to trust that my heart toward her was good.
I don't know if she ever was able to do that, but eventually she would walk away from the basement door and go find an alternative cool place to lie down.
And I would pat her head and tell her she was a good girl.
I often picture God a bit like this ... watching me stand at a door through which it would not be good for me to walk, wanting me to trust that his heart toward me is good, that he knows what is best more than I ever could, anxious for me to pick another door to walk through instead; another cool spot to lie down.
It was AW Tozer who said:
"God is too good to be unkind and too wise to be mistaken.
When you cannot trace his hand, you must trust his heart."
Chessy would agree.