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The Other Side of the Fence

‘Do not fear, for I am with you;

Do not anxiously look about you,

for I am your God.

I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,

Surely I will uphold you with

My righteous right hand.’

Isaiah 41:10

You are from God, little children,

and have overcome them;

because greater is He who is in you

than he who is in the world.

I John 4:4

Shotziestood on the top step and surveyed his world proudly, but cautiously. He didn’t see anything out of the ordinary, so he leisurely descended the six steps and began exploring his territory. Everything was going just fine until he stepped into the cul-de-sac. Then he heard her coming, but by then it was too late. He knew he couldn’t attempt a fast getaway on his short legs, so he braced himself as best he could for the broadside blow he knew was coming. He had suffered through it before–to his deep humiliation.

How did he miss her? Where had she been hiding? Why did she insist on picking on him? He had never done anything to her. Well, tomorrow he’d just have to be more careful, or maybe stay in the house all day.

Shotzie was a dachshund. His enemy? An eighteen-pound terrier. My sweet little Esther Lou. Why she took this instant dislike to her little German neighbor was beyond me. She had no enemies. She was a lover. A lover to everyone, that is, except poor little Shotzie.

I remember one day vividly. I was in the backyard with Esther. She was lounging in the sun while I repotted some plants. Suddenly she was a barking ball of black fury heading for the fence. Shotzie was on her turf!

The dachshund was terrified! He froze. Then, he realized that Esther was behind the fence, and how he did strut. He actually had the nerve to hoist his short little leg and mark HER territory! He came right up to the fence and she couldn’t do a thing about it. She kept trying to intimidate him with growls and snarls and all sorts of war maneuvers. Nothing worked. Shotzie’s nemesis was powerless. I can well imagine that his heart was beating furiously, that his miniature legs were pretty wobbly, and that he was fighting a panic attack that was violently urging him to retreat. NOW!But no. Shotzie wasn’t about to retreat. You see, he knew something about his enemy. Esther was powerless. Shotzie was merely taking advantage of the fence.

* * * * * *

Lord, how I need to learn from Shotzie, to scrutinize my enemy and to gather information about his position–to see him as he is: Powerless to harm. Sure, he makes an awful lot of noise, dashing up and back and up and back, snarling and showing his teeth. And my legs may be wobbly and my heart beating like crazy.But I’ve got to keep my perspective.

He’s on the other side of the fence.

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.