The picture at the left of this screen is of my beloved companion of over ten years. You can see that he is remarkably young looking for his age. I don't think that he looks a day over seven. He's getting white on his paws, and on his muzzle, but he is as beautiful as ever.
I don't know what I would have done without the devotion of this little dog. For ten years he has been at my side in fair weather and in foul. When illness hit me eight years ago, and no one knew if I would live or die, Happy Dog lay by my side. I have a picture of his worried face, and though the picture of me is not flattering, I will keep it always. When I seemed to be getting better, he was the one who brought me the ball to throw, making up a game that he has taught the other little dogs, and one that he still loves to play.
I've thought a lot about what Happy Dog's faithfulness signifies, and I think I know what it means to me. He has taught me that faithfulness never dims when one loves his master.
I have a Master. Yes, I willingly follow Him; wait on Him; and am often impatient with Him. I believe that my Master loves me, much in the way that I love my Happy Dog. I forgive Happy Dog, even when he does the unthinkable, such as lifting his leg on everything in the house that he claims as his own.
I also have a problem with owning things; like the weather. I NEED RAIN!!! SEND IT NOW!!! Uh..oh. I guess I don't own the weather. I must submit. And I repent. Happy Dog does much the same, when he brings me his ball. I NEED TO PLAY!!! He barks, wagging his tail. He is relentless, following me from room to room, no matter what I need to do first. ME FIRST! PLAY WITH MEEEEEE!!!!
So like me, is this little dog. Yet, I have to crate him from time to time. He is a dachshund after all, and he has degenerative disc disease. When he injures himself, it is prednisone and muscle relaxers; and three to six weeks in the crate. I limit his access to play, so that he can get well and live to play another day.
Degenerative disc disease can be life threatening to a dachshund. It can often require delicate spinal surgery. Happy has had two surgeries, back to back, a month a part. Since then I have crated him five or six times, limiting his mobility so that he can heal.
Loving a dog like my Happy Dog requires devotion, a sense of humor, self-discipline, a rigid diet (so that he has no extra weight on his spine), and he doesn't like it at all.
You may wonder -- heck, I wonder -- what my little allegory has to do with me, other than my undying love for this dog. Well, this is very personal to my relationship with Someone other than my dog. You see, my Master is Jesus Christ. My relationship with Him is central to my faith in God.
God doesn't always consult me. He acts, and I have no idea what He is doing. I can't see the result of my discomfort, much as Happy Dog cannot see from his crate, the real health that I am giving him to play again. So, with my Master, Jesus, I can't see the outcome, and, frankly, sometimes it just makes me crazy. LORD, send me a memo, soon!
All of the pondering of my heart, God can hear. He cares. He acts. And, as my husband says, "It has already happened; you just haven't caught up with it in time." So, here I am, understanding more, by simply writing and sharing my thoughts with you. God is here, always, right with me. In the same room. Looking over my shoulder as I write. He's here, even more than I am with Happy Dog.
God makes me wait, when I want what I want, NOW! He hears my prayer and cares. So my prayer should be, LORD, you know what I want; but I know that you know what I really want before I do.
Father, thank you for giving me an understanding that I can hold on to. My understanding is weak, and perhaps shallow; but I do see why this waiting is so important. I may not like the outcome, but I can trust the One who holds the outcome in His hands. With all my heart, I love You.
Sunday, September 07, 2008