There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise: The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer; The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks; The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands; The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces. (Proverbs 30:24-29)
It is strange how the Lord uses the most mundane and seemingly foolish things to teach us lessons.
This morning I was up early-not quite as early as I usually am but earlier than most of the rest of the world. I trucked around doing my morning things and then put the dogs outside. Everyone should have a dog that has to go out first thing in the morning. It forces us to actually experience the weather, rather than glean information for the tv or radio.
Anyway, I put the dogs out, put the eggs on for R & M, made sure the coffee maker was on, and collected the lunch materials on the counter. Of those activities collecting the lunch materials is by far the biggest job: two packages of lunch meat, two jars of mayonnaise, lettuce, fruit, chips, sandwich boxes, smaller plastic containers for the fruit, a plastic bag for Michael’s chips, paper towels to assemble the sandwiches on and peel the fruit on, my favorite knife, a spoon to stir my coffee, and by this time, MY COFFEE!
When that is done it’s time to go and let the dogs back IN. Ya gotta love ‘em! And there is the source of my lesson. When the dogs come in they are all full of energy from their run around the yard and the cold. Sebastian and Gabe tear around like wild things, Maxim bounces in between them and around Mika. Mika wags her tail and once in a great while bounces into that typical ‘let’s play’ stance, her front legs and chest on the floor and her rear in the air. That isn’t often though because her bones are old; usually she just wags her tail and gives a little ‘wruff.’ Once all of that is finished Maxim goes upstairs to make sure his Mom and Dad are awake. The little dogs come in beside me when I sit down to make lunches and Mika wanders around making sure the house is all secure.
During the course of the next hour or so, R & M get up and have their breakfast, get their coffee ready to take with them, put the lunch materials away and trundle on out to work, leaving me sitting alone at the counter, reading my book and finishing my coffee.
Now here’s the lesson. Mika goes and lays herself down on the rug between the hall and the den. Sebastian and Maxim go in my room where it is nice and cozy and warm. But Gabriel stays right beside me. It’s chilly in the kitchen/dining room area, especially for a little dog with no fuzzy hair. There’s a crowded spot on the floor between the wall and a decorative basket full of shells R&M collected on their various trips to Florida. Gable snuggles down in that spot. Rachael brought a dog bed and put it there to make it a little more comfy, but it is still cold in there. He could go in where the pillows are fluffy and the heater makes it warm, but Gable stays.
Wherever I am, he is there. If he can sit on me or snuggle close beside me, he does. If he has to lie on the floor, he does. If I get up to go after more coffee, he goes with me. If I go to the bathroom, he is right behind me. If I go to look out the front windows, he goes, too. No matter what I’m doing he is there. His faithfulness is incredible. I’m nothing special. I don’t wear a crown. I’m not God certainly. I can’t play with him. I can’t even hold him on my lap anymore when I’m sitting in my chair because his small weight hurts my knees. I’ve knocked my crutches over on him and that has to hurt! I’ve tripped over him and kicked him a few times in moving clumsily as I do on my crutches. And yet there he is, right with me; unless I specifically tell him to ‘Stay’ he goes where I go. And still, in spite of any thing that may have happened to him previously, when I sit in my big chair he hops up to snuggle down beside me in the corner and leans his head up against my side to have his chin rubbed. His devotion makes me feel very small and unworthy.
And WE as the professed children of God get put out and walk away from God when things don’t go like we’d planned. Or sometimes something happens and we are hurt emotionally or physically and we complain because God didn’t keep it from happening. Or we pray for something foolish and aren’t given the answer to our prayer. Or putting aside a sin that God requires of us is ‘just too much.’ Or we just decide we should be able to do our own thing. Or sometimes it just isn’t convenient to be a Christian. So we decide that God isn’t worthy of our devotion.
How foolish is that! How… prideful, arrogant, haughty, I don’t know the word…of Man that we have such a shallow devotion to our Lord! Aren’t we better that that little dog? Isn’t God more worthy of our devotion than an old lady on crutches? And yet, there’s Gable—faithful in cold and in heat, in comfort and in pain, in convenience and in inconvenience, in hunger and in satiation, in punishment and approval . No matter what, he is dedicated to me. And I love him in return. And his devotion makes me feel very small and unworthy of such a great gift. It kind of reminds me of the scripture: What is man, that thou art mindful of him? (Ps 8:4) Who am I that this little dog pays so much attention to me? I know it’s a backward application, but it just reminded me of the verse.
I am really nothing for that little dog. I mean seriously, yes I feed him— or no, I don’t feed him, R & M do that; they physically put the food down for him. I can’t even claim that little bit of care any more. I really don’t do anything for him any more. Yet he is faithful to me! And YET when we don’t get some little demand of God answered to our pleasure or something we had planned goes awry, we get all whiny and decide not to go to church—as though that will get back at God! We just walk away.
I don’t know what it would take to make Gable walk away from me; maybe my cold dead body lying for a week on the kitchen floor. Okay, that’s a facetious exaggeration, but seriously, he is loyal, constant, committed to me.
We must be just that devoted and constant and faithful to our heavenly Father.
Wow! What a lesson. It has left me in tears.