Cut It Down to Size

The other day, I was looking for a treat for my two dogs.  One, they had been extremely good despite the crazy schedules over the past couple of weeks, and I thought they deserved a reward. (Yes, I know they're spoiled.)  Two, (and please don't hate me for this), I needed them out from under my feet for a little bit.  I was trying to get some work done around the house, bring in firewood and sweep the floors--all of which become a major hassle when both dogs insist on following my every step.

Anyway, I went to the top of the refrigerator where we keep the treats and noticed that there was a large rawhide bone leftover from their Christmas present.  Again, there were two issues.  First off, I didn't want either one of them to have a bone that large.  This thing was gigantic.  I'm talking the Goliath of all rawhide bones.  Secondly, there was only one bone.  Not a good thing when you have two dogs.

After examining the bone for a minute, I took it to Jason who was doing some paperwork for the company he works for and inquired if there was some way to split it in two.  He looked it over and then headed out the back door with it.  (Please keep in mind that this bone has already been spotted by both dogs who are dancing, barking and howling with both delight and frustration.)  As Jason walked out the door, he gave me one instruction:  keep the dogs inside.  Yeah, right!  Easier said than done.  He was walking out the door with their bone in his hand.  They weren't staying inside!

Sure enough, before I could even get to him, Mitch was running out behind Jason.  I called to him.  He looked up, then continued on his way, following Jason.  Jason ordered him to go to me.  He ignored him and instead danced around in eager anticipation of his tasty treat.  Finally, I had to get mean.  In my most serious voice (which I don't have to use very often with my sweet pups), I commanded, "Mitchell, come here now!"  All I can say is be careful what you wish for.  He nearly plowed me over.

The poor thing was upset that he had been fussed out, distraught that he hadn't received his bone and confused about the circumstances surrounding the simple treat.  As Jason used his firewood maul to hack the bone apart, I knelt down beside Mitch and tried to comfort him.  I explained to him that he could have the bone when it was ready, but that we needed to cut it down to size for him first.  I applauded his restraint when I could tell he was bursting at the seams to run to his daddy and grab his prize.

Let's just say the next hour was pure bliss for everyone in the house.  The dogs chewed happily on their treats.  Jason was able to finish his paperwork, and I was able to complete my housework and even sneak in some quiet reading. As I worked on my chores, though, a reassuring thought niggled about in the back of my mind.  The words I had spoken to Mitch took on new meaning, and in the peace of my meditation I heard the still, small voice of God speak, "I know it's hard to wait, Dana.  But be patient while I cut this down to size for you."  To say I felt encouraged would be an understatement.  In this simple reminder, God reassured me that even while I'm waiting, He is still working.  Not only that, but He's working for my good.  He's making things better.  He's cutting my problems down to size for me.  He's taking care of me in a way that no one else can or will.  And in the process, He comforts me just as I was comforting Mitch.  He speaks to me and reminds me that everything is okay.

I don't know about you, but I now have a totally new outlook on waiting.  It seems it's not so bad after all.  Who knew?

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. - Psalm 27:14