Sunday, February 12, 2017

No Faith in the Dog

Earlier this week, I took our dog, Scooter, out to do his business. It was a blustery, cold day and I stood shivering while he took his time sniffing around finding the perfect location to do what needed to be done. When he finally finished, we both hurried back to the house. To my surprise, the door had not latched behind me and now stood wide open because of the wind. Normally, the loss of heat in the house would have been my only concern. Unfortunately, this day I was more worried that my son's two cats, who were temporarily living with us, had gotten out. As I entered through the doorway, I stopped Link from slipping out, but where was Jasper? Shutting the door behind me, I began searching as I continually called his name. He had to be in the house somewhere. Surely, I would have noticed if he'd slipped out. I couldn't find him on the first floor, so I ran up the stairs. When he wasn't there either, I hurried to the basement. No Jasper anywhere.

As I stood in the kitchen perplexed and frustrated, I saw Scooter standing next to me. He'd enjoyed following me throughout the house and probably wondered what I planned to do next. I said, "Scooter, where's Jasper? Help me find him. Let's go find Jasper?" 

To my surprise, he walked toward the staircase and ran up, looking back to see if I was coming. So I followed him. I didn't have much faith in his tracking ability, but since I'd had no success in finding Jasper, I was willing to see where he'd lead me. He stopped in front of the guest bathroom. My hearted leap when I saw a cat come out, but it was only Link again. I said, "No, Scooter. That's Link. Where's Jasper?" He looked at me, then looked back at the bathroom. I looked into the room again, but saw only a clean bathroom with the shower curtain completely closed. What were the chances that Jasper had jumped behind the shower curtain without pushing them aside a bit? Well, it was worth a try. He wasn't anywhere else that I had searched. I pulled the shower curtain back and there was Jasper staring at me. I scooped him into my arms and head him close. I hadn't lost him after all. I told Scooter, "You're such a good dog!" 

Later, as I told my son what had happened, he reminded me of the time we had lost my parent's cat, Mitzi, outside. She was declawed, so we were anxious to find her. We had searched and called for her for quite some time before our son decided to take Scooter outside and see if he could find her. Scooter immediately ran to the big garden out back and looked at my son. After searching a bit, my son decided Scooter wasn't a good hunting dog and continued searching elsewhere. About an hour later we found the cat exactly where Scooter had led us in the first place---in the garden, hiding under some big pumpkin leaves.  

I told my son, neither of us seem to have much faith in Scooter's ability to hunt. Our lack of faith in him didn't mean he didn't know what he was doing. 

How often does my lack of faith in God keep me from finding answers. I pray, but do I really expect God to respond? Am I relying more on my own understanding and trusting my own wisdom? It's not enough to pray. I need to be watchful for God's direction and listen for His answer. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."

Sometimes His answers are found in reading the Bible and a verse just seems to pop out at you. Other times, he places a thought in your head that you know you wouldn't have thought on your own. The answer can also come as you're sitting in church listening to the message. You may wonder if the preacher is able to read minds because he's answering your unspoken question through his preaching. There are many ways God speaks, but we need to keep our eyes on Him, trusting He will answer. If he doesn't answer right away, ask again. I wonder if the answer is sometimes delayed because it keeps us communicating with God. If He answers too quickly and all is well, we might forget to spend time with Him. God wants to have fellowship with us, so ask again. And when He answers, begin to praise Him and don't stop talking to Him. God loves for us to spend time with Him every day.

"Then Jesus said, 'Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.'" (Mark 4:9)

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