I am about to be a pet-parent! The joy and anticipation are overwhelming me today. You see, I asked for this to come true approximately 50 years ago. Now, on Monday, July 1 my sweet puppy, Crowder (yes, named for our favorite singer David Crowder ) is coming to live with me. This hope, now being fulfilled, actually began when I lost a puppy as a child.
I was raised in a farm family that had cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, cats, and yes, a beautiful dog named Lassie. She was everything the T.V. version was and more. She was my best friend. My brother had done an incredible job teaching her tricks, and she was able to help my dad get the cows into the barn, herd the pigs when they escaped and guard us against the creatures that lurked under our porch. Plus, the best thing for me as a child was that, almost yearly, she had puppies.
My favorite memories as a child were ones that involved the care of those puppies. However, it also included one of my hardest memories as a child when I had to give those puppies away. One powerful memory that even affected me for a long time, involved the loss of one of those dogs.
I remember sitting under our porch with Lassie and the one remaining pup from the litter. My dad had made it clear to me that we were not keeping these dogs. One was all he wanted, and Lassie was it. In my childlike faith, I was sure that he would change his mind. I begged and prayed and asked again. Yet, my dad remained firm. He knew so much more than me on what keeping him would mean. But to my young mind, giving up this puppy was not best for me. So on that cold morning, I held that puppy firmly in my arms, crying out for another chance to love this puppy for life. God and those older than me had another plan, and the new owner was coming that day to raise this little life.
As I released that puppy into the arms of another, I also let go of some trust in Jesus. Why had He not stopped this? Why was I not good enough to parent this dog. There must be something wrong with me. The feet of my thoughts started walking down a very dark road. The enemy of my soul planted some lies in my mind that day; I was not enough, I would never be enough. Rejection will be the natural pattern for your life, so get used to it. You are unworthy of love…
I now believe that Jesus started me on a path that day too. A way to find the truth that, no matter what, He is enough. No dog could teach me that. Only the full love of my Lord and Savior could be the focus of my life. The battle for my soul began and, though the enemy was fierce, Jesus did not give up. He won, though my stubborn heart took nearly 50 years to gain that victory. In God’s perfect timing, I now know that Jesus considers me worthy of His love, worthy of His truth.
The truth is, God knows me so well. He understands my tendency to put other things ahead of Him. Things that will bring so much less lasting satisfaction then a relationship with Him will give. Because He loves me so much, He must not let that happen. I was created to be satisfied by Jesus alone. Therefore, nothing else comes close. This truth has revolutionized my life. In both loss and gain, God is all I need.
With that truth now firmly established. God has decided to answer my childhood prayer. I personally think He is more excited about it than I am. That is the kind of God I have learned He is in my 56 years of life. God is so good, and He is also so good at being God. I sense his anticipation of getting to give me a gift, like the good father God is. I even get the feeling that my earthly daddy, who now resides with Jesus, is excited too.
All of this to say, we have a God with unfailing love. He wants what is best for you and me, even when He knows that it may cause temporary pain and sadness. God realizes that in the end, it will give us joy beyond measure, anything less will not be enough for God. So, I encourage you to never give up the pursuit of God’s ways. Don’t give up on the prayers you have been praying for years. No matter how much time has gone by, God is leading you to the truth of His love, grace, and purposes. When you find Him, you will find abundantly more than you can imagine.
My new puppy, Crowder, is a gift given by my faithful God. I must continually choose to let Crowder lead me to Jesus, just as the singer, David Crowder does with his music. If this puppy doesn’t do that, I shouldn’t have him. The fact that I am getting him may mean that God trusts me, and I will not let Him down. Let’s allow everything God chooses to give us, or take from us, lead us to Jesus, the only one who is enough. As Mr. Crowder has sung, “All my hope is in Jesus.”