Is That You Final Answer?

Yesterday, I had some errands to run in the morning, so I wasn't able to walk the dogs until after lunch.  As usual, I planned to walk them separately.  Mitch has only one speed, which is "turbo" and Tippy, at eleven years of age, is passed on the road by crippled snails.  It's just too frustrating to try to walk them together.  So, I grabbed the leash, headed out the door with Mitch and was almost to the road when I heard the most pitiful sound in the world. 

What is that? I wondered as I stopped to figure out where the sound was coming from.  It didn't take long for me to figure out that the cries were coming from my house.  I don't know what was up, but Tippy was pitching a royal fit.  Not an angry fit, but she sounded like she was dying.  It was the most heart-wrenching sound I've ever heard in my life.  I debated what to do, and after one more pitiful howl, I turned Mitch around, went back in the house and grabbed the second leash.

Unsurprisingly, the short walk was unpleasant for all of us.  The pace was too slow for Mitch, too fast for Tippy, and my arms now resemble Gumby's because of being pulled first this way then that.  By the time we got back home, I was frustrated and wondering why I didn't just ignore Tippy.  I knew she was okay.  I knew she wasn't hurt.  And furthermore, I knew each of us would have had a much more enjoyable and profitable walk if I had not given in to her wailing. 

Aren't you glad that God loves us enough that He doesn't always give us what we want?  Aren't you thankful that He watches out for us enough that He doesn't give in to our whines and cries.  "But God, I want this."  To which He replies, "No you don't, child.  You just think you do.  But if you knew where that would lead, you wouldn't ask for it.  I do know where it will lead, and that's why I won't let you have it."

One of the things that made me turn back and get Tippy was the myriad of thoughts running through my head.  What if she doesn't understand that this is for her best?  What if she thinks I'm leaving her behind?  What if she thinks we're not coming back?  What if she thinks I don't love her because I'm not taking her first?  It sounds silly, I know, but I've had those thoughts toward God, only in reverse.  At times, when God wouldn't answer a prayer in the way I wanted Him to, I felt angry and unloved.  I didn't understand that it was for my best.  I only thought He had forsaken me or was ignoring my cries.  Once the "crisis" was over, and I was seeing things clearly, I realized the stupidity of my thoughts.  But in the midst of what seems like unanswered prayers, it's easy to be overwhelmed by doubts and despair.

Yesterday, I did not act in Tippy's best interest by giving in to her cries.  Not only did I ruin her walk, but I ruined it for Mitch and myself as well.  Besides that, I've set the standard:  you whine, I come running.  And that is not going to work!  She will just have to trust that I know what's best for her.  As for me, I must remember that a loving "parent" doesn't give in because of protests and complaints.  No, a loving "parent" holds firm, even when the child is accusatory and angry, because the parent loves the child and wants what's best for him or her.  Just as my heavenly Father does for me.

Thank you, Lord, for loving me enough to not give me everything I think I want!

Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle. - Psalm 28:2