Our two miniature Schnauzers are diggers. Since we got them in January, they have escaped from the yard no less than 40 times by digging under the fence. After doing our best to fill in with bricks, create barriers, even to cajole and plead with them to stop digging, we decided it was time to resort to the invisible fence.
Grace and Gabbi took easily to their collars and wandered happily about the yard. But when each got close to the fence....
Their reaction was curious. Instead of finding out where the limits were and enjoying their freedom within those limits, they just stayed on the porch...or inside. Before the invisible fence, they would spend hours running, playing, wrestling and enjoying the yard. 95% of the yard is totally usable, but in order to avoid the pain, they are avoiding the whole yard.
Pain is a great teacher, but a terrible master.
I wonder how many people are just like my dogs. They have been burned by life. But instead of learing appropriate boundaries, they close themselves off from huge amounts of joy and freedom to be super sure that they are not burned again.
Yesterday and today I am carefully taking my dogs around all of the safe places in the yard to show them their freedom and fun zone. I have to hold them in my arms and speak soothing words into their ears so that they can learn where it is safe while they trust me. It will take time to learn the boundaries and feel the full freedom again. But one step at a time they'll make it.
Perhaps God is inviting you to this same venture into freedom... maybe he wants you to remember that it is for freedom that Christ has set you free. Sure, when you take risks, you get zapped by life once in a while. But most everything we try IS a risk. God is good...join him in all he is doing, let him carry you around the yard and show you his tender goodness.