I am sitting outside underneath my big maple tree, listening to the sound of the wind sliding through the branches. I have spent the day at home, alone. I haven’t quite been alone though! God is always with us and today I decided to get back to my routine of being still and knowing that God is near. Time to listen. There has been a lot of that going on lately within the Body of Christ. Not just me, but many, many others. God has set this pattern in motion and we are to be like dominos and play out the game and watch all the dominos fall one after the other in perfect timing and lining up with God. He’s always on time. Never early, never late. I feel like God is setting things up, one domino at a time and some are falling already and some have not fallen yet. The lineup is infinite and it leads to eternal freedom. Yes, I said freedom. We must take the time to get to know God and how He works and while doing that we are developing relationships with others. Some don’t know God and some do. Some will walk with us, some ahead and some behind. Unfortunately there are those who don’t want to walk with us at all. These are the people that I am concerned about. We really have no way of knowing who is who until we meet people and begin to develop a relationship. Once we do that, it may or may not become evident. God will show you. He always does.
We are all God’s children and none of us deserve God’s mercy or are worthy of it, but God gives it to us anyway. Why? Because He loves us. I learned a lesson from my daughter this week. It is powerful. She got bit by a dog last week and it hurt and she was mad at the dog and wanted to shoot it. The owners weren’t too happy either. Well, I didn’t like the fact that my child got bit either, but I knew that getting upset was not going to help the situation at all. So we didn’t. We aren’t the type of people who make threats to sue or be vindictive. Grace was offered to us by Christ and we are to offer it to others. If we don’t then what does that say about us? That we are grace-less. Grace is what make the world tolerable and it is what gives us hope-even in the case of a dog bite. Well, Emily has been thinking over the way it happened and she has taken responsibility for her actions. I am proud of her. This has been a teaching moment for all of us. She is still mad at the dog, but she no longer wants to shoot him. She see’s where he was protecting his property, even though it was a little too much. She had turned her bike around in the driveway and he came after her. So she figures if she hadn’t been in his driveway she might not have gotten bit. I don’t know. The point is that she has thought about it and she see’s where her actions might have caused his reaction. WOW!!!!!!!!!! That is BIG for a 10 year old to see in herself!
I keep thinking about the dog and how when we take on the responsibility of having a dog we must always understand that we cannot control what the dog does. We might think we can, but we can’t. We truly never, ever know when a dog or cat or other animal might turn on us or someone else. There is no way of knowing that 100%. That’s a FACT. It is a fact that we must take into consideration when we decide to become pet owners. Yes, my dog could bite someone. I have had several occasions of where that has happened. The first time it happened my dog was afraid of the tools hanging off a workman’s belt. She wasn’t going after the workman-but after the tools. The second time some kids decided to spray our dog with the hose and one of the kids got bit. The third time a stranger was on our property and he got bit. We found out later that this person was probably going to steal my motorcycle or was casing the place. This person was trouble from then on. He wanted to sue us and he became a menace. He called and threatened me and scared me. He would always call when Cort was at work and I was at home with an 18 month old. It was a scary time. Our dog knew that this person was trouble and she did what dogs do-protect. I am not sorry that she did protect us. She was a great dog and she died several years ago when she got out of her fence and got hit by a car. RIP old girl-we miss you!
The last time something happened was when our dog ( another dog) got sat on by a child and he bit the child because he didn’t want to be sat on. I felt awful. Just terrible. He had never done that before. But the mom told me that her son does that at home and thinks it is funny and it has happened with his own dogs at home. My dog was offered grace, as was I. I still felt awful and still do! So, I’ve been thinking a lot about grace and forgiveness this week and what it truly means. I don’t have the answers-just thoughts and reflections on the situation. I am thanking God that Emily is okay. I’m sorry that it happened and wish that it hadn’t. Emily has become terrified of other dogs now and we will have to work on that. Emily has learned a lot about herself this week and I am proud to call her “daughter”- on loan to us by our amazing Creator. He has filled her with compassion for people and animals. I don’t think she will soon forget her experience, but I do know that she has learned a lot from it. I hate that it happened but I am so thankful that she has the capacity to see the lesson in it. It is a lesson that most of us take a lifetime to learn.
I also see God’s mighty hand at work in this situation. How you ask? Well, during VBS we had a visit from some therapy dogs and one of the women who works with these great animals has started coming to our church! She has been praying about how God could use her rescue dogs in ministry. My answer to that is this: she can minister to our daughter and offer her understanding and healing through helping her get past her new fear of dogs. I mean, really people, does it get any better than that? God is in every situation- every single one!!!!!!!! Including this one. God truly does bring the good out of the bad! This is just another beautiful example of the grace that God offers us on a daily basis. And you know what? She may even be able to help the dog owner too. How amazing is that?
Our God is all knowing, powerful and just full of love for His Kingdom-people and animals! Don’t ever give up, don’t ever stop fighting and always see the GOOD in everything! It’s there…somewhere!
I love you Lord! I thank you for animals, neighbors and for little girls who love to ride bicycles! Most of all I thank you for the grace you have given me through the blood of your Son. He didn’t have to die the way he did-but He did because He knew that’s what I needed.
Amazing Love….how sweet the sound….