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Hug Jesus' Shins

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A few weeks ago. I helped my 14-year-old daughter, Briana, watch our neighbors' dogs, Lucky and Spanky. She was dog-sitting while they were on vacation. This wasn’t a fun job as it included cleaning up the dogs’ messes in the utility room. So, I got to help clean up pee and poop and she got paid! Something was wrong with that arrangement!

But the fun part was taking the dogs for a walk. As we did, I remembered the time that Briana’s older sister, Jennie, and I took the dogs out for a jog around the nearby lake.

Jennie and I were running down the sidewalk with Lucky and Spanky in tow. Jennie had Lucky on a leash and I had Spanky. It was a beautiful evening, just before sunset. As we jogged along, the dogs were panting with their tongues hanging out – they were having a good time and so were we.

But then, all of a sudden, Spanky yelped and whimpered. We stopped running and turned around: Spanky had run into a rose bush!

Jennie looked at me: “Dad! Spanky is blind! You have to hold his leash tight and guide him along.”

Oh, I felt so sad! I had run Spanky into the thorns!

Thankfully, Spanky is used to that sort of thing and he’s quite resilient. So, he got right back on the path, smiled, let his tongue hang out, and resumed running – this time hugging my shins closely!

God’s Parable

As we were running, I sensed God drawing my attention back to what happened. I realized it was a parable (God still speaks in parables that come from the surroundings and events of our daily lives).

Like Spanky, I am blind and need God to direct me along the path to avoid the thorns of sin in the world around me. Fortunately, God takes better care of me than I did Spanky! The leash connecting me to God and keeping me safe is his Word. Just as Spanky needed his leash to keep close to me and stay clear of rose bushes, I need to stay connected to Christ through the words of the Bible to avoid sin.

Meditating on Scripture

Do you stay leashed to God’s words in the Scripture? Do you listen to God’s voice in your daily life? Or do you like running into rose bushes?

To stay leashed to Scripture is more than just reading it – it’s to delight in it and meditate on it day and night like the Psalm 1 man, taking God’s words into your heart and praying them into your life. It’s to “keep in step with the Spirit” who sustains you ( ) by opening your spiritual eyes to see the risen Christ in your midst and inspires you to trust him as your Lord ( ).

To leash yourself to God’s Word is to let your tongue hang out with happiness as you hug the shins of Jesus! Far from choking or oppressing us, the Bible is a good leash that helps us to follow Christ in the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God ( ).

Copyright © Bill Gaultiere, Ph.D. Reprinted with permission from

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About The Author


Bill Gaultiere, Ph.D. is a Psychologist specializing in “Christian Soul Care” since 1986. Bill and his wife Kristi (a Marriage and Family Therapist) have a donor-supported ministry to pastors and leaders called Soul Shepherding. In counseling, spiritual mentoring, seminars, and retreats Bill and Kristi help people to connect deeply with Christ in ways that facilitate soul transformation. To learn more about their ministry, read articles, or sign up to receive the Soul Shepherding Devotion or Soul Shepherding Moments visit Interview: Bill and Kristi Gaultiere: Your

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