It’s Not About the Dogs
“I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” John 17:4
One of the saddest things I’ve ever heard an animal rescue worker say was, “It’s all about the dogs.” Long after I pride-fully finished pointing my finger, I realized I had looked in a perfect mirror of how I had lived for years of my life as an animal rescue worker. Not only had my life been all about the countless dogs I had helped rescue, rehabilitate and rehome. It had been all about me, my dreams, and what I wanted to do with my work life. There was one common denominator. Me. I had been utterly convinced my work was all about the dogs and everything else – but God.
When Jesus prayed to God at the end of His life on earth before returning to God in heaven, He told God with pure confidence He had finished the work God had given Him on earth until His return to earth in the future. He didn’t say He had finished the work He had given Himself. What’s wrong with animal rescue work? Nothing! Isn’t it possible God has called some to rescue animals like He has work for all of us? Yes! The problem?
Can you think of anything more beautiful and powerful when our lives on earth are over than to know with confidence we have finished the work God has given us? And to know He takes pride in the work we have done for Him? Herein lies the problem I had. My work had been all about the dogs – and me. Not about God. I hadn’t understood our PRIMARY PURPOSE on this earth is to love and serve the Lord with all our hearts and to proclaim Christ to the world to help build God’s Kingdom. And I did not understand any other work we do on this earth is to be given to us by God AND to be used to bring Him love, honor and glory.
There was nothing wrong with rescuing dogs in the years God had called me to do this. What was wrong was I was not living to love, serve, and honor the Lord first and foremost, and I was not using the work He had given me at the time for His purpose and glory. By His grace alone, I repented and changed my priorities. My life became all about God, and the work I have since done with dogs, which is minimal compared with what it was for years as He has transitioned me into full-time ministry, is used by Him to create opportunities for me to tell people about Him and to help some of the precious dogs He created. Now my work is about Him and for Him, and He is number one in my life. It’s not about the dogs, and it’s not about me. It’s all about the Lord! If today were the last day of your life on earth, would you know confidently you had done the work God has called you to do here –not for you nor this world, but for His glory?