I didn’t know what I was in for when I decided to look for a pet 6 years ago. You see, I’m a planner, and I was busy looking at the what ifs and planning out all sorts of scenarios to determine if we really needed a pet. I was hesitant because I knew the responsibility being a pet owner would entail, and I wanted to be sure I was committed before bringing a furry one into my home. But the minute I saw that little cutie, I was hooked. So what if we lost some of the spontaneity in our lives? It was worth it to have this adorable face waiting for us whenever we got home.
Which made it natural for us to bring another furry one into the fold when she needed a new home.
Since we don’t have children, these little ones are our babies. They make us laugh, and sometimes cry, but most importantly they have taught us how easy it is to love and to be loved by God’s creatures. God really knew what he was doing when he created animals for man’s pleasure, because these two special doggies have brought a lot of companionship into our home.
Not only have Cosmo and Lanie become a part of our family, but they have also brought me closer to God. How, you ask? They force me into prayer more often, such as when I ask God to please let the mud stain come out of the sofa slipcover. All jokes aside, there are 3 valuable lessons God has taught me about himself through pet ownership, and I thought I’d share them with you today.
God always provides what I need. I only need to trust him.
My dogs truly trust me for their every need. They don’t have to worry if they are getting a meal, because I will feed them. They don’t have to worry when they get sick, because I will take them to the vet. Dirty? No worries for them, because I’ll bathe them. Doesn’t God do the same for us? I have often found myself worrying about provision in my life, only to see God’s hand at work. Whether it be a new job, a new home, rent money, or even a loving husband, God has always taken care of me and provided for my needs. So, why don’t I trust him more often? His word declares in Matthew 6:26, “Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?” (NLT). If only I would trust God to supply my needs like my dogs look to me for theirs, I would rest easier and enjoy life without worry or stress.
God knows what is best for me, even if I don’t realize it. He will lead and guide me onto the right path.
My dogs don’t always understand my discipline. They don’t understand why they shouldn’t run like crazy across the road after a bird. They don’t understand why they can’t ride to the store with me and sit in the car while I shop during the hot summer months. They don’t understand why I change our walking route when I spy a stray larger dog ahead of our path. They often fight against me, pulling on their leash, not knowing the danger that lies ahead. We, too, pull against God’s will sometimes in our lives when he is protecting us from harmful situations. God knows what’s best for us even when we don’t understand his reasoning. He sees the bigger picture, and tries to steer us in the right direction. Isaiah 30:21 states that “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it” (NIV). As long as we seek his presence and desire his will, God will direct our paths. All we must do is be obedient and follow his leading.
Persistent prayer pays off.
This revelation came to me one day as I was watching my dogs from the dinner table. Like most pets, they love to sit by the table while we’re eating dinner with sweet eyes watching our every move, begging for just a taste of what we’re eating. Sometimes we succumb to their wishes and they gobble up the food we give them, but sometimes we don’t give in and they leave with nothing. Even if they don’t get a taste tonight, they’ll be back tomorrow night. They always show up at dinner time, sitting expectantly waiting for us to give in, hoping tonight will be the night they get what they want. If only I prayed with such an expectant heart! Sometimes I stop praying about a situation when God doesn’t answer it right away. But Paul instructs us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to “pray without ceasing” because persistent prayer draws us closer to God. If we continue to seek him in prayer, he will eventually answer and reveal his plan for us. It may not be the answer we desired, or in the time we wanted it, but it will be the right answer for us. It is our faithful persistence and belief that he will answer us that allows him to work in our lives.
Isn’t it awesome that God has used my little doggies to teach me wonderful lessons about character? It is great to know that my God loves me and cares for me, much more than I do my fur babies. And they are pretty spoiled rotten, I must add! As Adopt a Dog Month draws to a close, please consider visiting your local shelter and picking out a new loyal friend. They will change your life in ways you never could imagine, even by drawing you closer to our creator himself.
Shared with: Titus 2 Tuesday