I was walking disabled ministry dog Gracie who years ago was hit by two cars on the same day in front of a gas station where she lived after being dumped there when I noticed not for the first time how slowly and sluggishly she was walking. Was it her senior age? Arthritis? The masses underneath her back the vets had assured me seemed to be fine and likely a result of the accidents and her bone setting in place after being broken because she wouldn’t let anyone rescue her to take her to the vet for six weeks after she was injured? Was it something else? Something serious?
I figured she was in pain given her slow, labored walking and stooped down on the ground to examine her. I came to no conclusion other than to wait and see if she needed to get another vet check. Priority, however, was follow up on her eye surgical procedure for the eye ulcer. So I stood up and continued walking her.
No sooner had I turned her around to lead her back to our hotel room where she could finish her breakfast with paralyzed ministry dog Miss Mercy than she all of a sudden seemed to be perfectly healthy and happy and trotted off with a jolly, joyful, jovial, and speedy gait. Like nothing in the world was wrong with her! Know why? See if you can relate.
When Gracie was being led in a direction she didn’t want to go, she was slow and acted like the world was just about coming to an end. When she had the freedom to go to where she wanted to go to get what she wanted including food, a comfy hotel room, and her beloved sister dog, she was thrilled and picked up the pace immediately and expressed joy and thankfulness and excitement in her disposition. Sound familiar?
When the Lord by His Holy Spirit leads us in directions we don’t want to go to do things we don’t want to do to be with people we don’t want to be with to love and serve Him and others in ways we would prefer not to do, sometimes we are slow, sluggish, moaning, complaining, whining, self-pitying, acting like the world is coming to an end, resisting Him, and maybe even outright rebelling and wanting or even trying to rush off in another direction to please ourselves instead of to love, honor, please, and obey the Lord. But when God takes us in directions we want to go, how quick we can be to express our love, joy, thanksgiving, and praise. Isn’t this true for some of us? I know it is for me if I’m not careful and don’t strive hard to humble myself and obey the Lord in a manner and with a heart pleasing to Him no matter how, where, to whom, etc. He leads me.
Let’s be careful with this. Jesus Christ is Lord today, tomorrow, and forevermore. The Lord is deserving of our love, honor, praise, worship, service, and obedience each and every day and forevermore regardless of whether His Spirit leads us where we want to go or not. Our hearts, words, and actions should be filled with love, praise, and thanksgiving to God regardless. We should feel blessed and be excited to follow the Lord. We shouldn’t walk at a snail’s pace through our lives with negativity, complaining, and acting like everything is terrible and awful when God is leading us where we don’t want to go. We should feel honored, privileged, and thankful the Lord is leading us and bring Him love, joy, honor, praise, worship, and glory as we humble ourselves and faithfully, devotedly, and blessedly follow Him!
This message isn’t about my sweet and beloved dog Grace. It’s about you and me and all of us – and our need to follow Jesus with the right hearts and attitudes and words and actions no matter where and how the Spirit of Christ leads us. Hallelujah! I so very much need this message. Do you?
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” Philippians 4:4
“in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thess. 5:18