With Both a Whimper and a Bang by Lois Krogh

While many of you were enjoying neighborhood fireworks or lighting sparklers with your kids over the very long Fourth of July weekend, I was sitting with Brynn, our seven-year-old, 70 pound, Norwegian Elkhound, who just happens to be afraid of fireworks. Terrified really.

At the first sound, she goes into a frightened panic mode. Her tail, that usually is curled with its tip resting on her back, flattens out and drops between her legs. She then begins to pant heavily.

Probably like I would if I were to run down the street chasing after a child’s school bus with forgotten homework in hand. At the next boom, she will bolt. Anywhere. Under anything. Tables, chairs, desks. Places that are really not comfortable for a 70 pound dog. Including my lap. Without warning, she’ll be on my lap. And off at the next bang. Somewhere in there her instinctive warning system ramps up and the barking and whining commence.  

And yes, we’ve tried the “Thunder Blanket," lavender oil and doggy sedatives. What seems to work best is going to the basement with her and turning on the dehumidifier and the TV. I know more than enough about the stars on home improvement shows.   

It has been a long week. Please tell me when we began shooting off fireworks for the whole month of July? The rest of my family has been backpacking this week. I was supposed to be having a quiet time at home to myself. It has been anything but. Brynn doesn't calm down before one or two in the morning; then is awake at 5 a.m. hungry, because she wouldn't eat her dinner because she was afraid. And me? I’ve not really been all that rested either.

It’s almost midnight of the fourth night after the Fourth, and I can tell I won’t be asleep for a while. If only I could reason with this dog. I’ve tried. And failed. She doesn’t realize how good she has it. All her meals provided. A great backyard to run in, lots of people to fuss over her. If only she could trust me.  

Ah. Do you see where this illustration is going? How like Brynn I am. How foolish it is of me not to trust my heavenly Father. Something goes wrong in my world or I feel like I have lost control over something and what do I do? I drop my shoulders and panic. How often have I run from one thing to another trying to solve the problem? How often have I overburdened those around me, making sure everyone knows that something is wrong and they had better help me? I, too, have been guilty of not accepting the help they give. Sometimes I know I hide from a fear by increasing activity and noise around me.  

I am sure it grieves my heavenly Father. I have it so good. I have a great Savior who is a good shepherd and a strong and victorious king. He is wise and loving and powerful. And he has promised to care for me.  

Maybe this week home alone wasn’t about resting or checking things off my to-do list. Maybe it was about being in the middle of an object lesson about the foolishness of fear. Dear Lord, the next time I hear a bang, crackle, sputter or boom, would you give me ears to hear the reassurances of your Word? 

Brynn is under the desk as I write. I think she might have fallen asleep. So while my God holds the universe together, I’m going to get some rest as well.