You may remember,  when we were on our trip to Europe, that our little dog, Riley, died, then miraculously came back to life. It was weird and wonderful – it was God – and Riley has been right as rain ever since. There are, however, a few things of which we have to be extra careful.

Because it was a serious gastrointestinal issue, we were strongly cautioned that he was never to have any table scraps of any kind. We were to be very careful about food dropping to the floor, and kennel him when people were over and we couldn’t control what he might eat, because even one bite of a higher fat food could send him straight back to critical condition, or even death. It took him a while to adjust (he is the king of beggar dogs), but now he’s fallen in line with his new way of life just fine. We all have, or so I thought.

I walked into the living room yesterday, and found him nosing around under the recliner. Fortunately, it was not extended, and low to the ground; so low, that even a dachshund couldn’t get completely under it. Puzzled, I headed over, hoping against hope that it wasn’t some creature that was supposed to live outside, and was relieved on the one hand, when I saw a lone seasoned oyster cracker from Christmas Eve.

(Don’t judge. I would’ve gotten around to vacuuming under the furniture after the Christmas stuff came down. Or in July.)

But my relief that it didn’t run away from me vanished when I saw just how close he’d come to getting it, that savory little morsel filled with gluten and soaked in oil and herbs. So innocent looking, sitting there, emitting an irresistible aroma, it beckoned to a little guy who didn’t realize the extent to which it could harm him.

Then there are us human beings. There are things we know we should stay away from. Things we’ve done our best to rid from our lives and over which we take special care to guard ourselves. But there will always be a hidden temptation lurking, enticing…just one little morsel that seems so innocent. It will always be there because we have an enemy who is hell-bent on keeping that one thing in front of us. Maybe not in plain sight, but hidden in the dark recesses, just waiting for us to have a weak moment and start nosing around.

He’s relentless.

But so is God.

And if you trust Him with your heart, He’ll help you guard it and keep it clean. You’ll never have harmful stuff lurking under your recliner because He’s a much better housekeeper than I am.

A much better heart-keeper.


“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 ESV

But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” 1 John 4:4 NLT

Keep vigilant watch over your heart;
    that’s where life starts.” Proverbs 4:23 MSG

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts; see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24 KJV