If you happen to think you have things figured out enough in your life and that you and God are on the same page but for some reason you keep going round the mountain, give me a moment of your time to tell you my story.
I went through this huge test–simply put–because I always think I know what’s best for me! However, that can come with some troubles, and I am ashamed to admit it, because surely by now I should know better (not fun to admit I’m am a slow learner.) But I am going to risk some vulnerability because I have a feeling that I am not alone! Maybe you have a decision you are getting ready to make that could change the direction of your life. It could involve a serious relationship, a financial investment or job opportunity. Whatever it is let me urge you to read this somewhat humorous lesson and ponder its implications before you cautiously proceed.
Determination! That’s me ever since I can remember. I have always been and still am a very investigative sort. Yes, that can be a great attribute when channeled in the ‘right’ direction. How else would we ever know that there are (for example) planets that are part of a ‘solar system’ and that we (planet Earth) belong to one of them? Unfortunately, in my life it has become a stronghold that has gotten me into lots of trouble and this spirit of independence has plagued me even as a more ‘mature’ Christian. You see when I get something in my mind, I am not easily deterred. One might just reason it away saying I lack common sense at times. But what I really need to have is a plan before taking action and remember how vital it is to have a witness of agreement with two or more to help discern whether or not I am really hearing from God.
You would certainly think that a few hard lessons would reign in this young lass who stepped out into some pretty bizarre situations. Like running away from home at 13 and again at 15 (not to return.) My younger years were strange years and I grew up rather quickly. Yes, I was rather impulsive.
Gratefully, I became a Christian at the age of 30 and God began His deep work in me as I have learned to surrender the many areas of my will with its baggage and consequences (and the deep pain in my heart) to the Lord. I am learning that as it says in John 15:5 “I am the vine, You are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” And this is where I want to begin, now that you have some background.
Let me begin by honestly saying that I really am beginning to like who God is creating me to be. “Lord, please keep me teachable so I don’t quit growing!” I also add that there is a whole lot of refining to be done. As with all of us, I am in process and will be until Christ calls me home. So most of the time I really do appreciate what God is teaching me and doing in my life. Now here’s where I will reveal one of my strongholds to you–I still like to call the shots and think I know what is best for me. I forget Whose I am and Who knows best!
My husband and I now have a this dog who was a darling little puppy that I totally obsessed over until I got her. You see, after having to put down our sweet old “Chelsey” dog of 13 some years ago, and then putting down our inherited Sheltie (acquired from Jerry’s dad when he went home,) it was then time to get what I wanted and thought would be best for us to have. I have wanted a Schnauzer for a long time! So for two months after the Sheltie was gone I searched online high and low and researching as I went, for our Schnauzer. They are great dogs, smart, sturdy, healthy and cut too! My husband decided that he didn’t want any more pets (we also have a Siamese cat) insisting that when these were gone there would be no more. Yours truly persisted to convince him that we really should “try one on for size” assuming that he would just fall in love with her. I did pray about it, a lot. But let me confess, I did not wait on the Lord and like I always do, took matters into my own hands. Yes, Kimberly knows best. In July we acquired our first standard Schnauzer. A scrawny 3.5 month-old black female from Canada (Manitoba to be exact.) I even had her name all picked out before hand, Elsa, a good German name for a good German dog, and it means ‘God is my oath’.
So you ask “What’s the point?” Let me tell you how God has and continues to use this little dog to teach me some stuff! I have learned some vital stats about ‘Kimberly’, like don’t make me wait and don’t tell me no! And I have had to pay the price for my resistance to learn. Old Frank Sinatra may have sung the song but I keep living it out, ‘doing it my way’.
|She is pretty cute don’t you think?|
Our little Elsa is a smart little Fraulein and she really learns quickly the fun things. But…there is a very stubborn and determined side to her and as smart as she is she came with a few issues.
- Coming off the farm, everything about city living scares her. (I should have named her Skiddles and when she first came through the door of the house, the cat greeted us as she always does and little Elsa freaked and poop literally went everywhere!)
- She had a horrible case of round worm–yuck–that we had to deal with including diarrhea issues for several months and that was no pleasure to clean up! (Two doses of medicine took care of that and we were good to go although the vet blamed the kennel rearing–how would I know?)
- We got her at 3.5 months which gave her head start in nurturing her strong will not to mention that the housebreaking took forever (we finally made headway at 7.5 months and they are supposed to be EASY to train!)
- This little dog has a strong will that runs competitive with mine.
Argh–what have I done? Now I haven’t painted a very nice picture have I. So please, don’t get me wrong, she has her delightful moments and can be a lot of fun. It is just that there are a few hurdles we are going to have to jump through before it is all said and done.
As I conclude this I have realized that things are definitely getting better. (As she learns and I learn.) But for a time I thought what have I done, and am I going to regret once again demanding my own way and going ahead of God? The thoughts have come and gone regarding what we could have had if I had waited for God’s best. Like when the vet says his Schnauzer was house broken in short of two weeks at under two months old! Or will she ever get that “stay” is for her good and so is “come”. With all the deer in our yard I wonder what would happen to her the day she decides while off the leash, to chase one. Will I ever see her again? I know by heart the verses in Proverbs 3:5,6 that say,
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
But I forget the rest of the story when I read verse :7
“Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil.”
Ouch, the Proverbs can really make the tough calls! Old Solomon was in tune to his maker! So when will Kimberly realize that God, Abba, knows what’s best for His girl and that it is so much better to wait than to regret? His best is always for our best even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time or that is is just taking too long?
I pray that as God has redeemed the jump-start girl once again He alone can bring beauty from ashes. Our Elsa is learning and is now grown up. She has matured into a tremendous companion to me and my husband. The ride is slowing just a bit and as you can see I even have some time to do a bit of writing these days, yeah!
Well, if you can identify with my plight, let’s pray and ask God to give us what is ultimately His very best and nothing less and the courage and patience to wait on the Lord. Let’s pray
Pappa, once again I jumped ahead of You and You have gently reminded me that Father knows best! I really do want to give You my strong will and I also want to give You that part of me that thinks I know what is best for me. You know how impatient I can be when I don’t get my way. Just let me learn this time as I surrender. Thank you for your word in Isaiah 40:31 that says we really do gain great strength from waiting upon You. Mounting up with wings like eagles, running and not becoming weary and walking without fainting. What a promise awaits those who are willing to hold on for Your best. I want that and I am so tired of the learning curve as I traipse around the mountain again and again in this area. Please deliver me and give me the courage to stand fast as I wait on You, in Your powerful Name, Amen!