I think I have mentioned before that we have acquired a Lab puppy from the animal shelter. He is probably a year and a half old. We believe he was abused or abandoned. He is still very much in the chewing stage. It doesn’t matter where you put things, if they are in his reach he’s going to get at it. I put things up fairly high and he still gets to things. We will get through this stage….at least I hope.
A few days ago I had a meeting scheduled. I was asked to do devotions before the business part of the meeting got started. I had picked one out. I placed it on the seat of a chair while getting ready to attend this meeting. While in the back part of the house I heard (my sense of hearing and awareness has gotten much better since Kobe has been around) something that just didn’t sound right. I went out to the living room and what should I find but Kobe chewing my book. Ugh! Not a happy camper was I. I grabbed the book and scolded him. He headed straight for his bed with his head as low as it could go. Someone knew they were in deep trouble with mom. I could have still used the book, but it was wet with slobbers and gross looking.
I now needed to find a new devotion. After settling down a few minutes later and realizing it’s just a book not a life or something that can’t be replaced (I have been doing that a lot lately) I began to pray and ask God to show me what He wanted me to give these women. What words of advice or scripture could I share with them? It all came together in a matter of minutes. I had to print something up, look on my phone for words to a song, and I found a story to tell to go along with it. It was perfect and not my doing.
As I was driving to my meeting I soon realized this would be one of the last times I would be a participant of a meeting with this group. My position will come to an end after December. Some else will be taking my place. The words God had given me were a salute to these women and some final words for them to remember my time with them. God’s words were perfect for what I had wanted to say.
The next day as I was sharing with a friend about Kobe’s treatment of my book he said to me, “Well, I guess God had a different devotion for you. He didn’t want you to share the one you picked out.” I agreed with him. I had already figured that out.
As I was once again reflecting on this I wondered how many times had God stepped in and changed my course of life, or intervened and I didn’t stop and think about it? There have been a number of times I have been delayed by five minutes on the road for this reason or that just to find out I missed being in an accident.
One time I was upset because I was deathly sick and ended up in the emergency room. They suggested I do a follow up with my doctor. That is when they found out I was having thyroid problems and had to have surgery to have one of them and a parathyroid removed. It didn’t save my life, but it did improve it.
A friend a long time ago was involved in an accident after her son sneezed while driving. He felt horrible. She was rushed into the hospital with non life threatening injuries. While there she had x-rays taken which resulted in them finding a spot on her lungs that turned out to be cancer. She is fine now and living cancer free, but if it hadn’t been for the accident who knows.
When things don’t go as planned or they don’t turn out we often get upset just to find out later things were meant to be that way. We have all heard of stories from those in New York that relate they were supposed to be there that morning but for whatever reason they weren’t.
I did the devotion God gave me and it was a blessing for each of those women. God takes our plans that we create and sometimes destroys them so His plans will come to bear fruit.
I realize Kobe is just a dog (not really in our family) but his sad face broke my heart. Yes, I was upset with Him and yes I could have killed him, but I didn’t. I soon realized it was just a book that could easily be replaced or still used with the memory of what Kobe had done. It could also be used as a tool to share with others that sometimes God has better plans for us. “I know the plans I have for you” says God in Jeremiah 29:11. After being punished for a few minutes I reached down and hugged him and told him I still loved him.
What would have happened if it had been a child? Sometimes I think child abuse happens by mistake and during the heat of the moment. I am not saying its okay; I am just learning to understand what can happen. When we are so angry (like I was) it’s best to remove yourself from the situation, go calm down and realize things can be replaced, or repaired or whatever. The feelings and the life of a child are much more important than the item that was destroyed or lost.
Maybe we should allow God to direct our plans a little more often. Proverbs 16:9, “People may make plans in their minds, but the Lord decides what they will do.” Maybe when something doesn’t go like I think it should or my plans change maybe I need to stop and see what God is doing instead of getting so angry. “Anger and bitterness are two noticeable signs of being focused on self and not trusting God’s sovereignty in your life. When you believe that God causes all things to work together for good to those who belong to Him and love Him, you can respond to trials with joy instead of anger or bitterness.” ~ John C. Boger “We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
I am learning to pick my battles with Kobe and now I am smiling, because I realize with a chewed up book and a new look on it I have a new devotion to share with others. God’s got our backs and He wants our plans.
Dear God: Thank you for turning a bad situation into a lesson for me. Thank you that I walked away without doing any harm. As I pick up the book let it be a reminder that you always have my back and you want my plans. Let me not get angry when things don’t turn out or I am delayed. Remind me there might be a reason or you might be keeping me from harm. Thank you for all you do for me. Amen