I took Gabby, our Yellow Lab out on the jonboat this afternoon. Wow, she loved it. She jumped in and out every time I let her, and when I didn’t. :).

The craziest part was her ten valiant attempts to retrieve a crab pot buoy in about 5′ of water 100′ off an island. The first time she saw it, I could see the gleam in her eye even from behind! She perked up, pointed, took off running and leapt into the water. The swim to it seemed like so many others. When she got close, she grabbed the rope like a champ, then started swimming. I could tell she was proud of herself. Until…the rope came tight. She tugged and tugged, but finally let go and swam to shore.

End of story? Not a chance. As I sat in the boat, I watched her on the beach. She stared at that buoy, contemplated as she turned her head from side to side, then took off swimming to try again. This time she knew she had it solved. She grabbed the knot on the other end of the buoy. That would make the difference! But alas, she gave up and swam to shore to rethink the situation.

This time she ran over to the boat as if to tell me how that wrascal just wouldn’t play right! I encouraged her, but tried to tell her it wasn’t her training decoy. Did she listen? Of course not! All in all, she made 10 valiant attempts. She even moved it, pot and all about 15′ toward the hill. But this last time I could tell she was in trouble. Something wasn’t right.

She started shaking her head and I knew she had become tangled up in the rope. I have to say, I’m so glad I was watching. She would easily have tired out trying to get away on her own.

I quickly stripped down to my boxers and t-shirt and made my way to her in the 50 degree water. Not exactly what I had planned, but boy was she happy to see me. As I took her into my arms and unwrapped the rope from her front leg, she looked up at me and almost melted in my arms. I carried her half way back to the beach before I put her down. I’ve never seen her so scared, nor relieved.

The whole ordeal really got me thinking. It didn’t register to Gabby that this “would be toy” was not at all what it appeared. It never occurred to her that it was anything more than what it appeared to be on the surface. Problem was, the more determined she was to claim this awesome prize, the more blinded she became. Before long, she was so tangled up she couldn’t do anything to free herself.

Doesn’t Satan do just that with us? He has a way of making things look great on the surface without allowing us to ever see what lies just beneath. The awesome thing is that our God sent His only son to cut the rope, to free us from Satan’s tangled web.

Jesus has carried me home more times than I care to mention. How about you?

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