If Reggie Can Do It...
Reggie has come a long way since her initial fear of the garage a few posts ago. In just a couple of short months with us, our 'lil pup has learned to trot to and from the house when asked, to hop up and down the stairs with no sweat, and to walk by foreign objects in her path when before, they would have caused total paralysis. We could chalk it up to maturing brain cells or settling into her new home, but I'd prefer to attribute that progress to something else.
Reggie was a little older than most puppies when we brought her home, and because of that, she had a pretty fixed idea of what her life should look like—her druthers and dreads, as it were. In those early days, she didn't know if she could trust us to feed her, protect her, or remember to take her out of her crate in the morning: hence, the whining and barking and whining and barking. Right in my ear. At six a.m.
I'm beyond pleased to announce that progress has been made. Not only did Reg let me sleep until seven-forty-five the other day (*insert tears of joy*) but she has learned to be patient and wait for me. She knows I'm in the room with her and haven't forgotten her. She knows that I will let her out when the right time comes. She knows that I have her in mind, that I haven't lost sight of her, and that I will ultimately fulfill her needs. No need for the incessant whining.
Now, this post was not just an excuse to talk about my puppy (which I find I do almost constantly lately—am I a puppy mum or what?!)
No, y'all know there's a metaphor coming. So here it is.
How much whining and barking do we do in our spiritual lives? Do we, like little Reggie, require instant gratification for our prayers and petitions, or can we wait patiently for God to do His work in our lives?
We, too, tend to have a pretty fixed idea of what our lives should look like. We know what we like and what we don't; we know what we fear and think we know what we need. When God doesn't alleviate our distress immediately, we might turn to prayer (which is a good first response)—but isn't it true that we might turn to complaining, questioning, or accusing instead? God, where are you? Why aren't you helping? Aren't you listening? Have you forgotten me?
Some mornings, I've told Reggie, "I'm right here. I didn't forget you. Just be patient." And she has absolutely no idea what I'm saying. The cool part is that she doesn't need to hear it spelled out—she's learned from the evidence. Have I ever forgotten her? No. Do I always fulfill her needs in the end? Yes.
Why can a dog learn trust based purely on the evidence, but we need more? We need answers, we need instant gratification, we need God to explain why He's waiting so long to answer our prayers.
If we trust Him—and I mean really trust Him—we will be willing to wait for Him, knowing and remembering that we are not forgotten, that He sees and remembers us and has our best in mind. Knowing and remembering the evidence in our lives that has proven Him faithful every time.
Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. ~Psalm 27:14
If Reggie can figure this one out, so can we.