a dog/God story...

Colossians 1:17-19 (the message)

He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—He is supreme in the end. 

From beginning to end He's there, towering far above everything, everyone. 

So spacious is He, so roomy, 

that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. 

Not only that, 

but all the broken and dislocated pieces 

of the universe—

people and things, animals and atoms—

get properly fixed and 

fit together in vibrant harmonies, 

all because of His death, His blood that poured down from the cross.

sometimes in the midst of all my praying for what i feel like are HUGE THINGS... marriages to be restored, addicts to taste the freedom of Christ, prodigals to turn and see the God who runs to them even when they are still a long way away from home, crushing financial burdens to miraculously paid by the One who owns the cattle on a thousand hills... things that feel like ONLY the touch of God can soften something that is set in stone because only He breathes life into the dead. calls the things that are NOT and says that they are. i tend to pray for things that ONLY GOD can do and try to take care of all that other “petty” stuff on my own...

and i forget that He is sovereign over the things that seem little to me. things i “forget/don’t need to” to pray about. then sometimes it dawns on me that God may not see things as “little” or “big” like we do. if nothing is impossible to Him and everything is possible if nothing is too hard if His arm is not ever too short then nothing is a longer reach or a bigger stretch of His Almighty Power. the HUGE THING that feels impossible to me isn’t more difficult than the mere fact that every breath i take comes from His hand. that my next step wouldn’t happen without Him. than the fact that my computer would fall apart if He didn’t hold all things together

so one of those little things (to me) was our search for a dog for rosie. well, really rosie’s search for a dog for rosie. since she was the only one searching actively. sure, i would get on petfinder.com every now and then and give it a cursory glance. i would send off an email about an animal on there. never hear back. and forget about it. tell rosie “we are waiting to hear back from teddy’s foster mom”. ha. i had already forgotten who teddy was. i am not really an animal lover... can you tell?

meanwhile rosie was praying every night that God would find a dog for her. meanwhile i was praying for MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THINGS. life changing things. 44 year old things of VERY MUCH IMPORTANCE and ETERNAL SIGNIFICANCE and i can’t really work in the doggie prayers because i am praying for PEOPLE, and GOD LOVES AND DIED FOR PEOPLE. and i have never really understood animal lovers. like beth moore who tells all these stories about her dogs and i just want to go “TALK ABOUT JESUS SOME MORE because i don’t really understand this story about your dogs!!!!!!!!!!”

we had a couple of “dog dates” where we met a dog. but there was always something wrong. the dog was scared of men (and we have two tall guys at our house). they dug a lot. they ran away a lot. they were too old for a young girl. they were too young for us (we did that puppy thing once. once was enough. amen.) they needed to be inside all of the time. they just didn’t “fit us”. i was thinking that maybe NO dog would “fit us” because frankly “some of us/me” wasn’t really trying to be a good fit. 

rosie has been doing a lot of dog sitting (and by the way that is a GREAT way to make some $$$$$$$$). i thought that would be enough dog attention and affection for her. but it wasn’t. it just solidified that she could handle a dog and was responsible enough for one (in her mind and ours).

rosie kept praying. she has always loved “snow dogs”. that has been her desire. and ummmm, we live in florida. she loved to visit my mom’s best friend, aunt bonnie and her husband, uncle cliff, and their two alaskan husky dogs, coda and mia. mia died a year ago and rosie cried and cried and drew a picture of mia for coda to have. sweet. you would think that would soften my heart up for a dog. yeah, you would think. but you would be wrong. 

so last week adam finds a dog on petfinder (we were resolute that we wanted to do a rescue dog) that is about 30 minutes away and he contacts the agency. and they contact him back (which is kind of like a miracle) and kimberly who has the dog (named kodie) has had him for 3 years since he was a puppy. she rescued him and has kept him at her kennel/boarding/grooming business. he is partially husky. and partially about 12 other dogs. which is good. because huskies are tough dogs. my uncle cliff’s main concern was that huskies can be raised to be whatever you want them to be and we better be sure what a husky had been raised to be if we took one that was older.

this one has been raised to be a sweet, obedient, fun dog. high energy, which is good for my two running kids. but also loves to cuddle up right next to you, which is what rosie wants in a dog also. he is soft and fluffy. one blue eye and one brown. LOVES to be outside. and doesn’t dig. i took one look and fell as much in doggie love as a person who ONLY PRAYS FOR PEOPLE can fall in doggie love.

we went without rosie the first time to visit him because she was in soccer camp and she falls in love with EVERY dog we visit. so we thought we would just check this one out without her the first time. then since we liked him (even millie and maxx really LOVED him), and we liked and trusted kimberly, the kennel owner, so much, we took rosie with us later in the day to meet him. and on our second visit kimberly’s husband (who came over to meet us) said, “i don’t know if you are the praying sort, but kimberly has been praying every night for two years for the right family to come along for kodie.” i told him that we were the praying sort and that rosie had been praying for about a year to find the right dog. and that she (and i) would be given a sign that this was the right dog. his comment was the sign from God. and let me tell you that God doesn’t always give me signs. He likes me to trust Him more than that. but this time, He gave me a couple of signs...

rosie had been asking me “how will God let me know which dog is right?” and i just kept telling her that we would know. that God would do this in such a way where he closed other doors (people not calling or emailing us back) and opened other doors and that we would pray that He would make it SO CLEAR. He did that. with the prayer comment. and to really top it off as we were walking out of kimberly’s grooming shop last night i noticed (and note that i had through that shop FOUR times that day, in and out twice) that Christian music was playing. and the only lyrics i heard on my way out were these ones from “Your Great Name” by natalie grant

lost are saved; find their way; at the sound of Your Great Name
all condemned; feel no shame, at the sound of Your Great Name
every fear; has no place; at the sound of Your Great Name
the enemy; he has to leave; at the sound of Your Great Name

Jesus, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain for us, Son of God and Man
You are high and lifted up; that all the world will praise Your Great Name

so last night when i lay in bed with rosie, we prayed a prayer of thanksgiving. and she hid under the covers. because i think she didn’t want me to see her cry. because she was overwhelmed with the idea that God would actually answer her prayers. but mostly i was overwhelmed. because while i trust Him to handle the BIG THINGS (only because they are SO BIG THAT THEY ARE BEYOND ME and so i have no other choice), i forget to trust Him for EVERY good thing. 

i know a God who answers the prayers of a 12 year old girl. prayers for a dog. for a husky fluffy dog in the heat of florida. because He lovingly wants to teach her to trust Him when she has to wait. because He has given her the desires of her heart and He wants her to know the One that put that desire there and fulfilled it. to know that He cares about her. that He wants good things for her. that He is great and worthy of worship and praise. and because He wants me to know these things in the midst of my waiting. and praying for PEOPLE ONLY. and maybe one special dog. maybe...

So let faith arise
Let faith arise
Open my eyes
Open my eyes

I lift my hands to believe again
You are my refuge, You are my strength
As I pour out my heart, these things I remember
You are faithful, God, forever 

(chris tomlin)