The wild turkeys are a source of endless fascination for our two dogs, who see them almost daily on the morning version of our country walks. The younger dog is always on a leash, but the older one is voice trained, which usually holds even with wild animals.

But coyotes are another matter. Both dogs have a distinctive bark to warn the world of a predator on the prowl, also telling the coyote in no uncertain terms to go away. When there are two or more coyotes, though, it’s another matter: the dogs still bark, but we make sure they don’t get loose. Our 110-pound older dog found that out the hard way a couple of years back, when two coyotes flanked him coming back out of the woods, as he ran flat out back up the hill for home.

For human beings, discernment of friend versus foe is not always that clear. Thankfully, God’s Word can help us make important distinctions, not just about ally versus enemy, but in subtler aspects of life, as well. Hebrews 4:12 says God’s Word is fine-tuned, able to distinguish even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Yet the trick is this: recognizing God’s Word when we hear it in the midst of all those competing life messages. May you listen for it regularly enough to recognize God’s Voice when it really counts.

Your partner in ministry,

Betsy Schwarzentraub