I have two dachshunds. Well, a dachshund and a half. Laverne and Shirley are half-sisters. Shirley is a lovely black-and-tan who looks just like her mama. Laverne is a feisty mix — Shirley’s dachshund daddy also got together with the family dog, a yorkie poodle. Shirley is my follower. Laverne is by far the leader, every bit bossy.
Like most dogs, my girls love to eat. They never forget meal time, and they do their best to make sure I don’t forget. Laverne is especially good at this, quite able to convey the urgency of her food request with pitter patter and well-timed snorts.
This morning, I made bacon and eggs for breakfast and planned to pour a small amount of the grease over their kibble. While the smell of frying bacon filled the room, I reached for the tiny bowls, much to the excitement of the girls. I poured kibble into each bowl, then set the bowls on the counter and walked away to finish breakfast.
Shirley stood still, disappointment showing on her face for a few seconds before she walked back to her bed in the corner to pout. Laverne, however, marched behind me into the kitchen and snorted to get my attention. She glared at me accusingly. “Mom, you forgot to feed me!” Clearly, I had failed her. She was convinced that I had made a mistake. Worse, perhaps I was purposely withholding breakfast from her. She began to panic. As I moved around the kitchen, she circled around me, nearly tripping me in her effort to get what she wanted. All the while, she was hindering me from actually giving her what she wanted.
I do that to God sometimes. When things are not going the way I think they should, in the direction I would have chosen, toward the goal I want to achieve, I can work myself into a frenzy in an effort to force the desired outcome. I fail to trust Father God. I forget to ask what He may be doing with me, through me, for me. And much as I hate to think it, I am sure that sometimes I just get in the way of the blessings He is trying to give me.
James 1:7 reminds me that “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights.” But in the middle of a trying time, I forget the sublime truth of this.
Life happens, and it’s not always easy. For me, the biggest challenges have come in the form of major life changes: leaving a job or starting a new career, finding a new church, moving to a new city (moving an unhappy teenager to a new city!), working through a back injury. Then there are the smaller challenges: a clogged toilet, a flat tire, the flu, a difficult coworker, a tight budget. None of it seems to be getting me what I want. And if I forget to trust the Father, I eventually panic. In my mind, the world is coming to an end! Over a flat tire. Really?
I don’t have time to explain the lovely outcome of each tough time. But trust me, each story ends well. Not necessarily a happily-ever-after ending, but I am better for having experienced each. It is all part of the Father’s plan to give me what I need.
For Laverne, the ending is kibble covered in bacon grease delivered by my loving hand. As I reach down to place the bowls on the floor for the girls to enjoy, I say, “See? I told you I would take care of you.” I’m not sure they’re listening, but I sense their contentment as they scarf down their breakfast.