Recently, we had a dog show up at our house that is beautiful! It’s not the first time a random animal has shown up on our property. We live in the country so sometimes the area can become a dumping ground for unwanted pets and we’ve taken in our share! We’ve had Tom and Lucky, two cats who are no longer with us and Ozzie who is a Blue Heeler who joined our managery last fall and now this one we’ll call Max. He is so sweet! He looks to be a mix of German Shepard, Husky or maybe some Australisn Shephard mixed in. At first we were concerned with how Ozzie would react because he’s definitely the Alpha dog. How do we know? Because he dominates everyone else! You see, we also have a Pomeranian named Rusty who was my father-in-law’s dog that we inherited when he passed away a few years ago and two cats, Prissy and Sylvester, that were two strays I brought home from work that were destined for the Humane Society and I just couldn’t let that happen! They had been my lunch buddies for months! And Ozzie makes sure all of them knows who the boss is!
So when this dog showed up, my first instinct was, “I’m keeping him!” To say that my husband was NOT thrilled is a gross understatement! Everything in me wanted to fight to keep this dog. He’s so sweet and beautiful! Surely God intended for us to have him, right? My husband gave me every reason why we didn’t need another big dog and I gave him every reason why we did. And the battle ensued. Back and forth we went. We had put the dog in our outside kennel so he wouldn’t get in the road (I wanted to protect him!). We live on a stretch of road that people think is a super speedway so it can be dangerous for animals. Then we decided to introduce Ozzie to this new dog. I think my husband was hoping for them to not get along….but that didn’t happen! You would have thought they were long lost friends the way they got along! Chock up one for me, right?
Am I In God’s Will?
Not necessarily….After a few hours of going back and forth with my husband, God and I had a little discussion. Or should I say, God scolded me a bit. You see, I had been praying for God to let me keep the dog and it went something like this; “Lord, please let me keep him! He’s so cute and it would be a good playmate for Ozzie. Please Lord! I know you sent him. Please change Greg’s heart. I just know you want me to have him”! As soon as that last part came out it was as if God spoke directly to my heart….”Do I? Are you sure? And what if I don’t?” OUCH!!! My heart sank. I knew where this was going and I didn’t want to go there…not at ALL!
You see, God and I have had this discussion before. I want something REALLY bad and He has to get me in check before I impulsively act. Yes, I may tend to have a bit of a compulsive nature and it may have gotten me in trouble more than a time or two. So when I hear God say “Are you sure?” I’ve learned to listen (most of the time…I’m not perfect with it….yet). So God took me back to the Garden of Gesthemane and reminded me in order to be in His will, I have to have the same attitude Jesus did.
Now you may say “Wait a minute, this isn’t anything like Jesus dying on the cross!” and you would be right. But, here’s what I’ve learned. God wants us to have the attitude “not my will, but yours” in EVERYTHING! Even the small stuff. Maybe especially in the small stuff because if we can learn haev that attitude in the small stuff, it helps us to say “Your will, not mine” when life throws the big stuff at us.
How Do You Know
How can you tell if you have the right attitude? Ask yourself “Am I feeling anxious, angry or down”? These are all signs that we may need to check our attitude. I’ll give you another example from my life right now. We are thinking about selling our house and moving. Hubby and I are on opposite ends of what we should do. I want to sell and move closer to my daughters and he wants to stay where we are or move to Florida. We both love warmer weather. I was raised in Florida so I’m very familiar with the climate and He loves the salt water. I know we would be in better shape if we were downt here simply because we would have warmer temps for more of the year…but my girls are in Tennessee! Oh, I’m so torn. This whole cancer thing has really changed my attitude about being close to family. I used to be a traveling gypsy! I’ve moved more times than I can count and I didn’t worry about how far away from family I was. Now, I realize the lost opportunities to make memories with the ones I love the most.
My daughters and I are very close but I’ve always thought I had time! You get the drift…Anyway, Hubby and I have gone back and forth and sometimes it has been pretty heated. I’ve been pretty adament that we should move closer to them and it’s gotten ugly at times (I’m not proud of that, but being transparant). Again, God got hold of me after a particularly bad argument and again said “What if I want you to stay right where you are or go to Florida? Will you do it?” Oh, how hard that question was to answer. I knew what I should say…but I really didn’t want to. I want to be close to my girls but I also know that God wants me to be in the center of His will and keep peace between Hubby and myself. And so once again, I had to say “Not my will, but yours”.
Not Everything Is Good For Us
So many times throughout my life I’ve been impulsive and it’s come back to bite me. I would rarely ask God what His will was and when I did, I’d usually do what I wanted anyway. I didn’t understand how the enemy will put ideas in our head that seem reasonable and even good but aren’t God’s will at all. That’s why it’s SO important to not just ask God but to wait for His answer and then submit to it. It took a long time for me to realize that I wasn’t submitting to God and being obedient and that’s why things always turned out in such a mess. Now let me be really clear here….submitting to God’s will and being obedient DO NOT lead to a life without complications or even suffering…BUT…when you are in His will things will always turn out for the best! You HAVE to trust that He knows what’s best for you FAR better than you or I do. And that trust is what will help you submit completely.
In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus tells us to not worry about the things we want or need but to seek first the kingdom of God and we will be provided with all we need. Get that…what we need! God may not give us everything we want because everything we want may not be good for us. In 1 Corinthians 10:23 it plainly says;
23 You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial.
God gives us a free will to choose but not everything is going to be good for us and that’s why it’s so important to make sure you are submitting to His will and not your own. He wants to protect us from the choices we could easily make that would take us away from His will and harm us or others.
God’s Perfect Timing
It’s so hard for me to wait and not give in to my impulsive nature and fight for what I want but I know that in both these instances I need to say “Not my will, but yours”. This week has been a test between my stubborn nature and my desire to be obedient. It’s been a challenge to say the least, but I have found a peace by staying in God’s Word and in His presence until He gave me what I needed. The first scripture He gave me that really slowed me down was in Proverbs 19:2 (NET);
It is dangerous to have zeal without knowledge,
and the one who acts hastily makes poor choices.
I had to laugh when I first read this! God knows that with me, He has to get pretty blunt! You can’t get much more blunt than this! I had to get my self in check or I was going to mess up! And then He gave me Habakkuk 2:3;
At the time I have decided, my words will come true.
You can trust what I say about the future.
It may take a long time, but keep on waiting—
it will happen!
Again, He’s being pretty plain here…He knows what He’s doing and His timing is perfect! “Not my will, but yours” kept going over and over in my head all week until I finally was able to come to a place of peace.
Submitting Brings Peace
Back to Max and moving. I knew I just couldn’t keep Max without trying to find his owners so I’ve put flyers up, made calls to Animal Control to see if anyone had reported him missing, checked the local FaceBook group and went to our Vet to see if he has a chip with no luck. I know I have to make every effort to find who he belongs to before I can just keep him. And about moving? It’s in God’s hands. I know in my heart that I will live close to my daughters. Whether it’s in Tennessee or Florida, God will determine. I’m trusting Him. Is it hard to think we may have to be further apart for a time? Oh YES! But lilke the above scripture says, everything He has planned will happen and it will happen in His timing and His timing is PERFECT!
So this week has been a challenge but I am so happy to say that I have a peace about all of it and I’ve been able to make it to a place where I’m not worried about either one of these situations. In lifes big scheme of things, these are so small and not worth losing my peace and joy over! So many times it’s the little stuff that gets us all balled up and out of whack! What are you going through right now that may have robbed you of your joy and peace? Can you give it to God and trust Him? No matter the situation, His timing is always perfect and when you completely submit to Him you will find that peace that passes all understaning!
Has this helped you? Please share in the comments any thoughts you may have on the subject. And, sign up to my email group if you’d like to receive updates on any new posts! I’d love to hear from you! Until next time…
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