Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I hope everyone’s Christmas wishes have come true with the announcements of vaccines and stimulus money. The older I get, the more my Christmas list is full of things that can’t be bought or put under a tree. Nowadays, I do a whole lot more praying and very little wishing.
I have been reading my prayer journal from last Christmas. Reading it transported me back to a time when I was being stretched beyond what I thought I could endure. When I read my old entries, I can tell how frantic I was to get God to remedy the crises in my life. At the time, I couldn’t understand why my loving Father was not “fixing” things the way I thought He should.
Nathan and I have an old Shih Tzu, Pabu. That old dog means everything to us, so we take good care of her. Nowadays, her love of snacks has become an issue. We’ve had to make some diet changes. We upgraded her food to an expensive prescription diet fed at regular intervals. No more snacks. She is not taking it well.
She acts like we are cruelly wrecking her life by taking the one thing she wants away from her. She stomps her feet, howls, and over-turns trash cans. Eventually, her normally happy-dog face turns sour. It’s almost more than we can bear. Almost. But we know we are loving her well by doing what’s best for her.
Pabu feels deprived, and I can’t help her see it’s not true. Fact is, her diet’s been upgraded, but she doesn’t care. She’d trade her top-dollar veterinary diet for a few juicy, junky bites of cheese in a New York second. To Pabu, long term gain is irrelevant; she wants what she wants and feels we are crushing her little doggy heart if we don’t give it to her.
Reading my old prayer journals while watching Pabu work us for snacks, I can’t help but notice some similarities. Especially how anxious we both get when we think something isn’t working out the way we think it should. But she has a valid excuse. She’s a dog and therefore can’t do math. She can’t count up all the times we’ve come through for her.
But I can do the math. And my tallying tells me God has never let me down. Not once. Not ever. Even when He didn’t give me the bite of cheese I wanted, He eventually served me up a T-Bone to make up for it. Even if I kicked over a few trash cans during the wait.
At the precipice of 2021, I have a challenge for you. I dare you to get a notebook and start writing down your prayers. Doesn’t take much time, but it will help you learn just how faithful your Father truly is. In the meantime, put your happy face back on. Your Father knows what you want, and He isn’t trying to wreck your world by holding out on you.