“I am using the dogs to make you more like me,” He told me after over a year of whining, moaning, complaining, begging, cursing, praying, repenting, and anything and everything in between and beyond.
How so? With 18 Walk by Faith Ministry dogs in my care 24-7, I am Moses with dogs instead of sheep. I am learning to love unconditionally, to be patient when I don’t want to be, to be a leader, to respond to aggression with kindness, to bestow mercy when condemnation comes so naturally, to be forgiving when I can’t stand a dog’s behavior, to be humble and not jealous when I am ashamed every other organization gets tons of adoptions, to handle stress I would love not to have, to seek God when I tend to seek humans, to not give up when all I want to do is quit, to be even-tempered when I would rather scream, to let go when I would rather hold on, to clean up yet another mess when I’m already worn out, to help when I’m inclined not to, to make decisions based on God rather than emotions, and the list goes on.
I cannot deny it. I would give just about anything to adopt out the adoptable dogs so I can focus on the special needs canine kids in my care, so I can open up more space for whatever other dogs the Lord plans to send my way in the future, and to have a lot less stress by not having the higher energy of the healthy dogs.
So what does God have to say about all this? I can only imagine. As He prepares me day by day to move forward in my ministry work involving people, He continues to use the Walk by Faith dogs to perfect His love in me and to make me more like Him in my character. I have such a seemingly endlessly long way to go to get past my daily sins, to move beyond the flaws in my flesh that cause me to keep tripping, and to journey ahead of where I seem to not be able to get past. My flesh. My limitations. My shortcomings. The same ones, over and again.
Will I ever grow to where I want to go? Instead of losing my cool yet again over the dog that continues to irk me with her high energy, her hyper nature, and her commitment to follow me everywhere I don’t want her to go, I need to remember this.
God has a plan in all this far beyond the dogs. He is teaching this daughter of His to become more like Him.
Thank you God.
Dear Father, thank you for your mercy that never runs out. You could have given up on me so very long ago. I have fallen so far short with these dogs in my care that some days I have thrown my hands up in the air and declared I was finished. Done. No more. I quit. I could not stand, and still cannot stand, the times I fall so very far short I cannot imagine that you would entrust these precious dogs into my care. Yet you have, and you do. You have not stopped. Not stopped loving me, extending your mercy upon me, forgiving me, and teaching me. How to be more like you. Please don’t stop, Lord. Teach me to be more like you. Amen.